Microsoft announces Azure Space along with new partnership with SpaceX

Joanna Estrada
October 22, 2020

It is mainly aimed at providing conditions as close to real conditions in space as possible on Earth, in order to prepare everything necessary for the coordination of large interconnected groups of automated satellites in low Earth orbit.

Elon Musk's SpaceX has launched closed to 800 Starlink satellites, which are only enough to provide internet in select regions as of now, including the northwest US, but the company aims for a near-global expansion by the end of 2021.

Microsoft's new cloud services are a part of its space-focused business unit called Azure Space. Many are also seeing this move as a way for Microsoft to compete with Amazon, as the megacorporation offers a similar service through AWS.

The launch would have streamed live on SpaceX's YouTube channel (featured below), and the next launch window opportunity is Friday, Oct. 22, at 11:53 AM EDT.

SpaceX completed its 14th Starlink mission on Sunday. Microsoft recently entered the space industry with the launch of its new cloud service, Azure Orbital, which connects satellites directly to the cloud.

The innovation areas include simulating space missions, discovering insights from satellite data, and fueling innovation both on the ground and in orbit.

"The space community is growing rapidly and innovation is lowering the barriers of access for public- and private-sector organisations", said Tom Keane, corporate vice president of Azure Global, writing in the Microsoft Blog yesterday.

"We are ready to support customers on their space missions off and on the planet", Keane said. "What used to exclusively be the bastion of governments, the innovation developed by private space companies has democratized access to space, and the use of space to create new scenarios and opportunities to meet the needs of both the public and private sector space has been powering the world for a long time". With this week's two launches, SpaceX now has well over 800 broadband satellites in space. The organization will likewise interface its O3b satellites to Azure, notwithstanding the administrations SES is accommodating Azure Orbital. "With Azure Space we have ambition to make space connectivity and compute increasingly attainable across industries including agriculture, energy, telecommunications, and government".

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