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Earth as seen from orbit. Photo: NASA

Amazon Web Services announced last week it is forming a business division focused on helping government and commercial space entities become more agile and flexible by making use of the cloud.

The big picture: The new division — called the Aerospace and Satellite Solutions business segment — further solidifies Amazon's push into the space sector.

What's happening: AWS' Aerospace and Satellite Solutions will work with space companies to find more efficient ways of going about their everyday work.

  • For space companies, cloud services could allow for shortcuts in analyzing the extreme quantities of data beamed back from space each day.
  • AWS hopes the new division will help companies and governments move faster when it comes to finding new ways to use space-based assets and applications using machine learning and other tools.
  • "The Earth and space-based systems that we build now will inform nearly every decision we make in the years to come," Teresa Carlson, AWS vice president, said during a keynote address.
  • Companies like Capella Space, Maxar and Lockheed Martin are partnering with AWS.

Yes, but: Amazon isn't alone in trying to capture this market in the space industry.

  • Microsoft is also courting space companies looking to use cloud-based services.
  • Microsoft Azure beat out Amazon last year for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract.

The big picture: In recent years, Amazon has launched AWS' Ground Station, which focuses on providing space companies with ground station bandwidth to bring data back from orbit and analyze it quickly.

  • Amazon is also developing Project Kuiper, a constellation of internet-beaming satellites expected to potentially rival SpaceX's Starlink.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Oct 13, 2020 - Science

What the Artemis Accords mean for the future of lunar exploration

The Moon. Photo: NASA/JSC

Eight nations signed on this week to the Artemis Accords, a set of principles for exploring the Moon and using its resources.

Why it matters: While NASA's Artemis program to land people on the Moon by 2024 is very much led and developed by the space agency, NASA officials want other countries to buy into lunar exploration through the Artemis Accords in order to make that exploration sustainable and international.

NASA astronaut takes off on final U.S. voyage on Russian rocket

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov aboard the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft. Photo: NASA/Twitter

The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday morning with NASA astronaut Kate Rubins aboard, bound for the International Space Station (ISS).

Why it matters: Per Axios' Miriam Kramer, this is the last contracted flight on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for NASA, marking the transition to using U.S. launch providers like SpaceX instead.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Oct 13, 2020 - Economy & Business

The winners of the stay-at-home economy

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has created a stay-at-home economy worth trillions.

The big picture: While the pandemic is killing scores of businesses that depend on office workers, it's also making way for startups and titans alike to conquer a new industry — powering our remote lives.