Amazon courts space industry, adds antenna service for satellites to its cloud business

The move is significant as it marks Amazon.com’s growing ambition to tap contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Amazon.com Inc, the world’s biggest online retailer and also the world’s top cloud computing company, stated it was starting a new antenna service for uploading and downloading data from satellites; the move underscores its efforts to lure space industry and other customers to the cloud.

The move will make data transfers from space cheaper and easier through twelve antennas that will allow direct transmission to its data centers across the globe, said Amazon.com.

As part of this effort, Amazon also announced a partnership with Lockheed Martin Corp, whose satellite receivers would be used to connect directly to AWS Ground Stations to help manage data downloads in real time and meet unanticipated demand.

This advanced capability would be available to AWS customers in the government or regulated industries; the development assumes significance as it marks Amazon’s efforts to boost its chances of securing a $10 billion contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

“It’s not so simple dealing with satellites if you actually want to be able to upload and download data,” said Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, on the sidelines of the announcement of the the service in Las Vegas.

He termed the service as a “total game changer for how people can interact with satellites.”

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