Today at the re:Mars conference, Amazon announced that it has discreetly shipped one of its Snow Cone AWS send peripherals and storage devices into space as part of the Axiom mission to the International Space Station.
For the most part, it was a prebuilt Snowcone that AWS had already built to be rugged enough to be shipped via UPS, though the company had to go through months of testing to get it certified for that flight.
“ATchicken you count about security cloud calculations to in end, in remote, disabled, lasting environments — after 35 years in in space industry – there is No more hard, remote or lasting Environment or relentless, enough frankly speaking, how in space environment,” said Clint Crozier, director of aerospace and satellite technology at AWS and a retired US Air Force major general who helped lead the creation of the US Space Force before retiring and then joined AWS last year. “ATit space $425 billion Global industry today it projected to to be a 1 dollar trillion industry on 2040 by all major analysts – tripling the number of satellites launched between 2018 and 2022 – for all these reasons, customers tell us they want the same cloud computing capabilities close to their workloads that ended up off the planet in space. as they do on earth.”
In order to certify the Snowball, the smallest of the Snow family of peripherals and data communications devices, AWS had to undergo five months of NASA thermal, vacuum, acoustic, and vibration testing (no radiation testing was required, as the device was to be used in the shielded environment of the ISS). ). As soon as it arrived at the space station, a team led by AWS’s Daryl Shaq plugged it in, loaded it with a machine learning model for object detection, and ran it throughout the duration of the Axiom mission.
The astronauts of the Axiom mission conducted a total of 25 experiments, including the Snowball experiment. As Crozier noted, they had to photograph and document all the equipment they took on board and then transported with them. The object detection model in Snowball helped them catalog all of these items (and flag those that should have been excluded from public distribution).
Crozier acknowledged that it was a relatively simple demo, but the certification process taught the company a lot and also set the stage for future missions. “That was in demo what we did In aboutrbit, but in the whole process, as we count about in future requirements per cloud calculations in space, this is what were Indeed excited about because we count it conductors in a the whole new era in space innovation – wellchicken you Can currently, per in the first time Ever bring edge calculations capabilities on the orbit,” he said.
And that’s what it’s really about. Because the goal here isn’t so much to get existing Snowballs or their larger brethren into space, but to use what teams learn from those missions (and Amazon is already working with Axiom on future missions), and then, maybe integrate more sophisticated edge computing capabilities into satellites too. Exactly how that will look remains to be seen. As any Amazon media-trained executive will tell you in every interview, the company listens to its customers and acts accordingly.
“ATe Work With our clients to meet them needs,” Crozier said. “it one from in distinctive features in AMS ath from in things I learned about accession them after 33 years in in US military. As well as So if clients see in value as well as need per put [edge] calculations capabilities on the satellites, you Can right expect what were I listen to what as well as were calculation outside how we Can meet them needs”.
Amazon and AWS are already partnering with Blue Origin to power the computing capabilities of their commercial Orbital Reef space station.
Credit: techcrunch.com /