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Photo: NASA

Amazon Web Services' new space division — started this summer — is now working to reduce earthly limits on the collection and use of space data.

Why it matters: Commanding a satellite to point to a specific spot on Earth, collecting the desired data and then beaming the information back through a ground station to customers can take 24 hours or more. That kind of delay can make the data outdated and in some cases unusable.

  • "When you think of space, speed and innovation should be at the forefront of that at all times," Teresa Carlson, AWS vice president, told Axios.

How it works: AWS' Aerospace and Satellite Solutions division is now working with space companies to streamline their businesses and make data collection, distribution and analysis more efficient.

  • There has been high interest in AWS' services from potential customers since the new unit launched, according to Carlson.

For example: Capella Space — a private company operating satellites that take radar images of the Earth — is working with AWS to help reduce the time it takes for the company to get data into the hands of their customers.

  • Instead of 24 hours from tasking to distribution, the company hopes to reduce that to around 20–30 minutes, Payam Banazadeh, Capella's CEO, told Axios.
  • AWS operates multiple ground stations, with plans to open more, allowing satellites like Capella's more opportunities to downlink information and making it easier and faster to send images and other data back to Earth.
  • The company is also making use of cloud computing through AWS to help streamline data analysis for its customers.

Yes, but: AWS isn't alone in its courting of space companies that might want to move fast by using the cloud and other tools.

  • Microsoft's Azure Space is also working with space companies on computing, potentially pulling business from AWS.

Go deeper

17 hours ago - Health

Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the White House with Jill Biden in 2016. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Amazon's worldwide consumer CEO Dave Clark has offered to help the Biden administration with its coronavirus vaccination goals by mobilizing efforts to inoculate its employees, according to a letter sent to President Biden on Wednesday.

Why it matters: As demand for the coronavirus vaccine is outstripping supply, Amazon has about 800,000 employees, many of whom are essential workers. The Biden administration wants to vaccinate 100 million Americans in 100 days.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
20 mins ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.