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Amazon Cloud Group Targets Space, Government Deals With New Unit

The retired major general who oversaw creation of the US military's Space Force branch will lead AWS's new group.

Matt Day (Bloomberg) -- Inc.’s appetite for lucrative government contracts is sending it to space.

Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud-computing division, on Tuesday announced a new business segment targeting aerospace, satellite and other space customers. The Aerospace and Satellite Solutions group will be led by retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Clint Crosier, who previously oversaw the creation of the new Space Force armed services branch. Amazon didn’t say how much it plans to invest in the new unit.

AWS helped pioneer cloud computing, which has seen many businesses unplug their data centers in favor of rented data storage and software services from technology giants like Amazon, Microsoft Corp. and Google. AWS will now pitch that infrastructure to space customers, a bet that its existing investments will give Amazon an advantage over rivals.

“As the world’s most comprehensive cloud platform, AWS is uniquely positioned to help make the flow of space data more accessible, more cost effective and more actionable,” Teresa Carlson, who leads AWS’s public sector business, said in a blog post.

AWS has sought to expand its government and defense contracting business in recent years, building off a landmark 2013 deal to provide services to the Central Intelligence Agency. Even as some Silicon Valley giants debate whether to wade deeper into military contracting, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has said Amazon is committed to supplying technologies to U.S. government clients. AWS has major offices in Northern Virginia, and the company is building a massive corporate campus is Arlington, Virginia, not far from the Pentagon.

The company last year launched AWS Ground Station, which lets customers control satellites and download data to AWS data centers. Separately, Amazon is seeking to launch a constellation of its own satellites to provide broadband internet access.

The creation of the new division was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

TAGS: Cloud Business
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