SpaceX plans to build a Starlink Internet satellite constellation with the help of Google Cloud.
The two tech giants announced their collaboration on Thursday (May 13), providing data, cloud services, and applications to customers of Starlink, a company worldwide, from late 2021. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.
The main impact on the increase of 1,500 constellations orbiting Starlink will include SpaceX building a ground station in the same location as the Google data center and connecting Starlink satellites to the existing Google Cloud infrastructure. SpaceX will install the first Starlink device in Google’s data center in New Albany, Ohio, a spokeswoman told The Verge.
SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement, “By combining Starlink’s fast, low-latency broadband with Google’s infrastructure and capabilities, global organizations are as secure as modern organizations expect. It provides a fast connection. ”
Related: SpaceX Starlink satellite mega constellation launched in photo
The collaboration also plans to introduce new cloud services such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine which parts of the dataset will be sent to Earth. These computer services can reduce your bandwidth needs. SpaceX’s customers’ target markets are those who work in rural areas where the Internet often slows down.
According to SpaceNews, Google and SpaceX signed another big deal in 2015. Google has announced that it will spend $ 900 million on SpaceX “to support ongoing innovation in the areas of space transportation, reusability and satellite manufacturing.” From a perspective, this was four years before the first Starlink was launched in 2019, before SpaceX used a self-landing Falcon 9 rocket to reduce launch costs.
Microsoft, one of Google’s major competitors, also announced a cloud service agreement with SpaceX and SES in October 2020. At the time, the two companies said the deal would support Microsoft’s Azure Space cloud business, which operates from mobile data centers that can be deployed anywhere in the world.
Cloud partnerships are not uncommon in the space business, as companies are trying to reduce the cost of delivering information to more and more remote locations. For example, Amazon Web Services and Iridium Communications are collaborating on the Internet of Things to connect devices and objects (such as shipping containers) to broadband services for tracking and communication.
Starlink aims to provide broadband in areas where services were traditionally inadequate, but astronomers have warned about such mega-constellations. The concern is that bright satellites can cause problems for scientific observations that require wide-field research, such as the search for potentially dangerous asteroids. SpaceX is experimenting with ways to reduce the brightness of individual starlinks.
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