Microsoft is teaming up with SpaceX: Here’s what this means

Microsoft partners with SpaceX to create a cloud network based on space satellites

Private space industry has evolved massively over the past half a decade, primarily thanks to SpaceX.

San Francisco, Oct 20 (IANS) In a significant development, Microsoft on Tuesday announced a partnership with Elon Musk-run SpaceX to take on Amazon Web Services (AWS) which is the Cloud arm of the ecommerce behemoth, in the lucrative space Cloud business.

"With Azure Space, we have the ambition to make space connectivity and compute increasingly attainable across industries including agriculture, energy, telecommunications, and government", said Tom Keane, Corporate Vice President, Azure Global.

Microsoft said that as a part of this partnership Azure Space coupled with SpaceX plan to deliver satellite connectivity between field-deployed assets and cloud resources across the globe to both the public and private sector via SpaceX's Starlink satellite network.

Microsoft Azure Space
Microsoft announces Azure Space along with new partnership with SpaceX

The two companies plan to connect Starlink's high speed and low-latency satellite broadband with Azure's new Modular Data Center (MDC) for achieving their goal.

"These new connectivity partnerships bring more satellite capabilities alongside Azure Orbital ground station service and existing ExpressRoute satellite provider partnerships with SES, Intelsat and ViaSat to help bring valuable customer data from geosynchronous orbit (GEO) satellites directly into Azure", Keane announced.

As part of the new initiative, the company also announced the Azure Orbital Emulator, an emulation environment for preparing satellite constellations for launch into orbit. The new simulation environment has been created to allow space companies to conduct massive satellite constellation simulations before launching a satellite. Azure can also simulate an entire satellite network like complex, real-time scene generation using pre-collected satellite imagery. According to a company spokesperson, the Azure Orbital Emulator is already being used by customers in the Microsoft Azure Government cloud. "He later adds that "[Microsoft's] partnership approach to satellite communication solutions helps us bring these capabilities to customers faster to help solve their mission-critical space needs". Microsoft says the new Azure MDC supports high-intensity, secure cloud computing in challenging environments. Our global network of over 160,000 miles of subsea, terrestrial, and metro optical fiber helps billions of people connect all around the world.

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