Axiom Space Chooses AWS to Power IT Infrastructure for Commercial Space Station
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Dec 05, 2023
Axiom Space, recognized as a pioneer in commercial human spaceflight and the developer of the world’s first commercial space station, Axiom Station, has made a significant move in its IT infrastructure strategy. The company has announced its decision to fully embrace Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its terrestrial information technology (IT) needs. This strategic shift aims to fortify the necessary terrestrial cloud infrastructure to support the development of Axiom Station, marking a notable advancement in space technology.
Christian Maender, EVP of Space Commercialization at Axiom Space, expressed enthusiasm about deepening their collaboration with AWS. “Going all-in on enterprise IT needs provides us the necessary cloud services foundation on Earth to support our engineering, operations, and business teams as they build Axiom Station and the markets it will serve,” Maender stated. He also highlighted the ongoing collaboration with AWS in advancing cloud infrastructure for in-space applications.
Axiom Space’s decision is not just a mere transition to a new IT provider; it represents a broader vision of integrating advanced cloud technology into the realm of space exploration. AWS’s robust global infrastructure and diverse portfolio of cloud services are set to deliver innovative solutions to the challenges of space industry. Dave Levy, AWS Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, underscored AWS’s commitment to supporting Axiom Space’s vision of incorporating advanced cloud-based technology into future missions.
This partnership extends beyond terrestrial needs. Axiom Space and AWS are working on validating cloud-based hardware and software capable of supporting workloads in space. These efforts focus on cutting-edge scientific research in microgravity, which has implications for new pharmaceuticals development, stem cell research, regenerative medicine, among other areas. The collaboration also includes the development and demonstration of in-space cybersecurity solutions, an area of increasing importance given the reliance on satellite and space-based technologies for global communications and data transfer.
A key 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 demonstrated the potential of cloud computing in space, particularly in edge processing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cybersecurity.
Looking forward, Axiom Space and AWS are set to explore several innovative avenues. These include using AWS for modeling and simulation in support of Axiom Station development, equipping Axiom Space’s mission control center with cloud capabilities, and applying AI/ML for specific autonomy use cases around Axiom Station safety, monitoring, and mission operations. Additionally, the partners aim to work 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 go all-in on AWS for its enterprise IT needs is a strategic step towards integrating advanced cloud computing into space technology. This partnership is poised to enhance the capabilities of Axiom Space in developing its commercial space station and contributing to the broader space economy. The collaboration is 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.