After E-Commerce, Bezos Now Wants To Make Money In Space Business
Amazon is setting up new business units, preparing to send NASA astronauts and competing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Amazon’s New Unit
Amazon Web Services, the cloud-computing branch of Amazon, has launched a new space business segment, called the Aerospace and Satellite Solutions (A&S). This unit will focus on space projects, including from customers like NASA, the U.S military and private space players including Lockheed Martin and others. This unit will be led by retired Air Force Major General Clint Crosier, who was involved in the establishing of the U.S Space Force arm of the U.S military.
Going by the job listings, this unit is planning to offer services for nearly every space sub-sector, including rocket launches, human spaceflight support, robotic systems, mission control operations, space stations, satellite networks and more.
What Will This Unit Bring To Amazon?
The main goal of this segment will be to bring and serve large, lucrative customers mostly from the defense industry. But the e-commerce giant also wants startups and smaller new space ventures to take advantage of A&S.
What Will This Unit Bring To Amazon?
Amazon’s other AWS unit called AWS Ground Station offers satellite owners and operators global access to their space workloads. In plain English, ground stations are the “brain” of the entire satellite network. If something goes wrong with a satellite, the people at the ground station will be the first to know. So, ground stations are a pretty big deal. And AWS Ground Station is already being used by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) and satellite operators Iridium Communications and Spire Global.
Amazon is also working on Project Kuiper, which would put 3,236 satellites into orbit to offer high-speed internet to any point on the globe. Using smaller satellites instead of large, single or small volume geostationary satellites (which has been the primary approach for satellite internet in the past) means one can potentially provide better service, with a wider reach and at a lower ultimate cost.
There Is Money In Space
NSR’s Big Data Analytics via Satellite, 3rd Edition report found the cumulative revenue opportunity for satellite big data to be nearly $17.7 billion by 2028. And we all know that Amazon is betting big on satellites with Project Kuiper. Last year, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas told CNBC that Project Kuiper represents as much as a “$100 billion opportunity”. Woah! That’s a lot of money to be made with satellites.
To top all of this, Morgan Stanley said that the $350 billion Global Space Industry is estimated to grow into a $1 trillion Global Space Economy by 2040. So, you can clearly see how space is the next big thing for companies. Literally.
The Intense Competition
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 but SpaceX, which came 2 years later has become a tough competitor for the company. Recently, Blue Origin won a NASA contract worth $579 million and it competes with SpaceX and aerospace contractor Dynetics to build spacecraft that will help NASA achieve its goal of landing astronauts on the moon by 2024.
Besides Blue Origin, AWS is also under tremendous pressure from competitors such as Alphabet Inc, IBM and Oracle Corporation.Also, AWS lost a massive $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract to Microsoft.
In conclusion, the pressure is increasing for Bezos and he is facing heat from all sides — be it sending satellites to space, transmitting data in the ground or sending people to the moon.
And we believe that Bezos has enough capital to take on anyone, for example, Blue Origin is entirely funded by him, unlike SpaceX which has investors other than Musk. Also, he is firing on all engines (no pun intended) to make his name in the space industry and we believe this will be the next giant leap for both mankind and Jeff Bezos.
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