Space exploration is one of the most fascinating areas where human beings operate. And although Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, is a ‘newcomer’ in these journeys, the truth is that it has already given letters with regard to experiences, projects and innovations.
SpaceX recently signed a millionaire contract under the Space Development Agency program, which aims to develop four satellites. And who will accompany Musk’s company on this trip is Microsoft.
SpaceX and Microsoft together to create four satellites
SpaceX recently signed a contract worth 149 million dollars (~ 125 million euros) under the Space Development Agency (SDA) program. The objective is to carry out the creation of four satellites capable of detecting and tracking ballistic and supersonic missiles.
But there is an interesting novelty in this new project, as Elon Musk's company will count on Microsoft. Both established a partnership in order to work together on this program.
This information was provided by Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of Space X. Everything was revealed in a pre-recorded interview where Tom Keane, vice president of Microsoft's Azure Global platform, commented on a new deal, Azure Space, where the broadband of the Starlink satellites will be used to link cloud computing data centers around the world.
Keane asked Shotwell to talk about the partnerships for the SDA contract, to which he informed the following:
We are happy to have Microsoft on our team. We will hand over to the government a number of satellites with the ability to provide protection against ballistic weapons.
The four satellites will be delivered in 2022 and are expected to have a wide field of view.
They will be built with infrared sensors and will be able to detect and track possible threats in the lower earth orbit. In addition, they will have cross-connect functionality for data transmission to other support satellites.
Shotwell, however, has not clarified what Microsoft's role will be in this program. But an industry-related source said SpaceX would be interested in the Microsoft Azure orbital emulator, a kind of digital environment that allows the user to view an entire satellite architecture, test satellite designs and artificial intelligence algorithms.
Microsoft Azure Space
Microsoft recently announced a new segment on Azure, this is the Azure Space. This novelty has a partnership with SpaceX, so that the Starlink satellites provide high-speed broadband to the Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) database.
The goal is to provide support for cloud computing with security and high intensity even in complex environments.
In addition, the Azure Orbital Emulator, a simulated environment for testing satellite constellations. Basically, this feature makes massive simulations of satellite constellations with software and hardware. In this way, satellite programmers are able to evaluate and train artificial AI algorithms before their launch.