Amazon conducted an interesting experiment on board the ISS

Axiom Space tested the Amazon Web Services Snowcone cloud device on board the ISS. This happened back in April during the first private crewed mission to the International Space Station, but Amazon has only just announced this experiment.

AWS Snowcone solid-state drive on the International Space Station during the Axiom Space AX-1 mission. Photo: Amazon

The essence of the experiment was to speed up data processing. During the mission, the machine learning algorithm on the device automatically scanned, cataloged and identified objects in large-scale photos taken by Axiom from orbit. Eliminating the need to transmit data to and from Earth reduced the 18-hour process to about 20 minutes.

Amazon reports that the Snowcone solid-state drive, used to transfer local data to the cloud, was certified by NASA before the mission without any modifications, except for the outer coating — it was wrapped with a yellow protective film. However, Amazon may make changes in the future, for example, to optimize weight, durability and protection from cosmic rays and radiation.

Daryl Shack, AWS Business Development Manager for Space Exploration (left), and Clint Crozier, Director of Aerospace and satellite technology at AWS, with a Snowcone solid-state drive. Photo GeekWire

“This is the first time Amazon Web Services has launched a general-purpose cloud computing device into orbit,” said Clint Crozier, director of aerospace and satellite technology at AWS, a retired major general in the US Air Force who oversaw the development of the US Space Force.

According to Crozier, the company hopes that Amazon’s cloud computing capabilities will eventually be expanded to private space stations, satellites and the lunar surface with a wide range of possible applications. 

Earlier, Amazon signed the largest launch contract in history.

According to GeekWire

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