Microsoft Partners With Elon Musk’s SpaceX to Target Space Customers

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Microsoft is partnering with billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk-led SpaceX and others as it targets space customers, the software giant said on Tuesday.

The partnership with SpaceX Starlink will provide high-speed, low latency satellite broadband for Microsoft’s Azure Modular Datacenter, the company said in a blog post. With the new move, Microsoft aims to “make Azure the platform and ecosystem of choice for the mission needs of the space community.”

Microsoft has brought together a team of space industry veterans to work alongside its product engineers and scientists to build cloud capabilities that suit the needs of space exploration. “Our innovation areas include simulating space missions, discovering insights from satellite data, and fuelling innovation both on the ground and in orbit,” the company said.

Microsoft also said that when coupled with Azure’s high-performance computing, machine learning, and data analytics abilities, resilient satellites will open new opportunities for both public and private sector organisations.

“Our approach is to supply a multi-orbit, multi-band, multi-vendor, cloud-enabled capability to bring comprehensive satellite connectivity solutions to meet the needs of our customers,” the company said in the post.

Cloud companies have seen a surge in demand this year as more businesses use their services for switching to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SpaceX, known for its reusable rockets and astronaut capsules, is ramping up satellite production for Starlink, a growing constellation of hundreds of internet-beaming satellites that Musk hopes will generate enough revenue to help fund SpaceX’s interplanetary goals.

Earlier this month, SpaceX won a $149 million (roughly Rs. 1,100 crores) contract to build missile-tracking satellites for the Pentagon, its first government contract to build satellites.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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