Axiom Space, a player in commercial human spaceflight and the creator of the commercial space station, Axiom Station, has announced its decision to partner with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its terrestrial information technology (IT) needs. This move is aimed at strengthening the necessary cloud infrastructure on Earth to support the development of Axiom Station, marking a significant advancement in space technology.
Christian Maender, EVP of Space Commercialization at Axiom Space, expressed excitement about deepening their collaboration with AWS. He stated that embracing enterprise IT needs provides them with the necessary cloud services foundation to support their engineering, operations, and business teams as they build Axiom Station and serve its markets. Maender also highlighted the ongoing collaboration with AWS in advancing cloud infrastructure for in-space applications.
This partnership goes beyond terrestrial needs and focuses on integrating advanced cloud technology into space exploration. AWS’s robust global infrastructure and diverse portfolio of cloud services are expected to deliver innovative solutions to the challenges of the space industry. Dave Levy, AWS Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, emphasized AWS’s commitment to supporting Axiom Space’s vision of incorporating advanced cloud-based technology into future missions.
The collaboration between Axiom Space and AWS also extends to validating cloud-based hardware and software capable of supporting workloads in space. This includes cutting-edge scientific research in microgravity, which has implications for the development of new pharmaceuticals, stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and other areas. The partnership also involves the development and demonstration of in-space cybersecurity solutions, addressing the increasing importance of secure satellite and space-based technologies for global communications and data transfer.
An important milestone in this collaboration was the integration and operation of an AWS Snowcone device on the International Space Station during the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) in April 2022. The AWS Snowcone, known for its edge processing capability, played a crucial role in applying a sophisticated machine learning-based object recognition model to analyze images of scientific experiments in orbit. This project showcased the potential of cloud computing in space, particularly in edge processing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cybersecurity.
Moving forward, Axiom Space and AWS plan to explore various innovative avenues. This includes using AWS for modeling and simulation to support Axiom Station development, equipping Axiom Space’s mission control center with cloud capabilities, and applying AI/ML for specific autonomy use cases related to Axiom Station safety, monitoring, and mission operations. Additionally, the partners aim to collaborate with other industry teams to help build and mature the in-space economy and operationalize AWS cloud capabilities as part of Axiom Space’s multi-cloud and multi-user Orbital Data Center.
Axiom Space’s decision to fully embrace AWS for its enterprise IT needs is a strategic move towards integrating advanced cloud computing into space technology. This partnership is expected to enhance the capabilities of Axiom Space in developing its commercial space station and contributing to the broader space economy. The collaboration serves as a testament to the growing intersection of space technology and advanced cloud computing, setting a precedent for future space missions and technological advancements in the sector.