Axiom Space Teams Up with Kepler and Skyloom for the World’s 1st Orbital Data Centre19th Dec 2023
Axiom Space, a Houston-based space company, has joined forces with Kepler Communications US Inc. and Skyloom Global Corp. to pioneer the world’s first orbital data centre. This collaboration aims to introduce high-speed data transmission capabilities in space and enable Earth-independent cloud services.
A groundbreaking Orbital Data Centre
The focal point of this partnership is the development of the Orbital Data Center Tranche 1 (ODC T1), which will be housed on Axiom Space’s commercial space station, Axiom Station. The orbital data centre will revolutionize low-Earth orbit (LEO) by creating a global space marketplace. It will advance technology and infrastructure for secure space-based data processing on a large scale.
A key feature of the ODC T1 is its “Earth independence,” allowing it to offer cloud services in space without relying on terrestrial infrastructure. This innovation sets the stage for supporting lunar and Mars missions, where on-site data processing is vital for exploration and economic development beyond Earth.
A game-changing in-space data processing infrastructure
The collaboration with Kepler and Skyloom focuses on Optical Intersatellite Links (OISLs), enabling data transmission to and from the orbital data centre via their relay constellations. With data throughput of up to 10 gigabits per second, these links will adhere to Space Development Agency (SDA) interoperability standards.
Jason Aspiotis, Axiom Space’s Director of In-Space Infrastructure & Logistics, expressed the significance of this achievement, stating, “This is a pivotal moment for in-space data processing infrastructure and capabilities.” The collaboration aims to operationalize the world’s first orbital data centre, providing unprecedented data storage and processing capacity in a scalable and economical way.
Axiom Space, Kepler and Skyloom collaboration – details
To prepare for the ODC T1 launch in 2027, Axiom Space plans to deploy a smaller data processing prototype on the International Space Station in 2024. This prototype will conduct tests in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data fusion, and space cybersecurity.
Kepler Communications and Skyloom Global are instrumental in this initiative, providing optical communications networks to facilitate 24/7 on-orbit capabilities. Steve Bennett, COO for Kepler, emphasized the benefits of their relay network for commercial space stations and Earth observation companies, highlighting the growing demand for continuous, high-capacity connectivity in low Earth orbit.
Skyloom’s Chief Commercial Officer, Eric Moltzau, sees this collaboration as laying the initial infrastructure for a Commercial Space Internet to flourish in near-Earth orbit and on a planetary scale. He added, “This demonstration is the start of laying the initial infrastructure for a Commercial Space Internet to flourish in near-Earth orbit and on a planetary scale.”
As Axiom Space pushes the boundaries of space exploration, the collaboration with Kepler and Skyloom marks a significant step toward creating a sustainable communications ecosystem in space. The orbital data centre will play a vital role in supporting human spaceflight, exploration, and commerce, generating economic and social value for the world.