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Amazon Launches Space Push To Drive Cloud-Computing Growth


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Amazon.com is boosting efforts to lure military and commercial space organizations as major users of its cloud-computing services, hoping to benefit from rising government spending and burgeoning private investment. From a report: The move by Amazon Web Services, the online retail giant's cloud-computing arm, comes during a multiyear surge in U.S. military and civilian agency spending on space projects, with NASA, the Pentagon and their largest contractors -- including Lockheed Martin -- benefiting from hefty appropriated or proposed budget increases. Lockheed Martin already is an Amazon customer. Capitol Hill is pouring billions of dollars into new boosters and the next generation of superfast missiles, driven, in part, by White House and intelligence community warnings about Chinese and Russian advances in space. Commercial companies are building or planning to deploy swarms of small satellites encircling the globe, though the Covid-19 pandemic has dimmed the immediate outlook for many private space projects. Amazon is anticipating a huge increase in space-related cloud-computing contracts globally with a market size estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars, said Teresa Carlson, AWS's vice president in charge of public sector business. "There's a need for a more modernized approach to this industry," Ms. Carlson said. AWS will formally announce it is establishing a dedicated segment, called Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, at an online summit focused on business with the public sector on Tuesday. The group will be run by retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Clint Crosier, who, until recently, was in charge of planning to set up the Space Force, the newly created branch of the military. The initiative comes as AWS faced increased pressure from cloud-computing rivals for public sector business. Last year, AWS lost out to Microsoft in a high-profile competition to provide the Pentagon cloud-computing services. The program, known as JEDI, could be worth up to $10 billion over 10 years. Amazon has challenged the outcome.

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