Microsoft will be partnering with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop a satellite-based internet service.
Microsoft, on October 20, launched Azure Space, a cloud-computing service for aerospace companies. Together with the Azure Space debut, the tech giant also revealed its partnership with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The partnership will allow a connection from Azure to Starlink, an Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service. Starlink aims to build a network connected by satellites to provide fast and reliable internet to anyone worldwide.
“The collaboration that we’re announcing today will allow us to work together to deliver new offerings for both the public and the private sector to deliver connectivity through Starlink for use on Azure. Where it makes sense, we will work with [Microsoft]: co-selling to our mutual customers, co-selling to new enterprise and future customers.”SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell
SpaceX currently has more than 800 Starlink satellites, a portion of the needed satellites for global coverage. However, the number is still not enough to provide internet services to some areas in the world. SpaceX is currently beta testing Starlink.
Microsoft’s partnership with SpaceX will make Azure the backbone for Starlink, Fortune says. Additionally, the alliance between the two will provide SpaceX with data centers for Starlink. SpaceX in September noted that Starlink could provide an internet speed of up to 100 megabits per second.
The two companies have also been testing software that could link Starlink and Azure.
“SpaceX is, of course, the name that people immediately think of when they think of innovation and the evolution that’s occurring to bring space technology into the 21st century… The space community is growing rapidly, and innovation is lowering the barriers of access for public and private sector organizations. What used to solely be the bastion of governments, the innovation developed by private space companies has democratized access to space, and the use of space to create new scenarios and opportunities to meet the needs of both the public and private sector space has been powering the world for a long time.”Tom Keane, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Azure Global
Aside from Azure and Starlink’s partnership, tech giant Microsoft also revealed its plans to develop with SpaceX a space defense system for the federal government. The two will be working on a defense system that will “build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles,” according to SpaceNews.
“We were pleased that Microsoft was on our team. We will be delivering to the government a number of satellites that host a capability to protect against ballistic weapons. Microsoft will be doing quite a bit of work as a subcontractor, which I think was kind of a funny twist to the relationship here.”Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president, and COO
The said defense system is set to be completed in September 2022.