Microsoft released Azure Orbital September 2020, 2 years after Amazon started AWS ground station in 2018. Azure Orbital provide spacecraft users with all-in-one services between ground station and data archiving. Moreover, Azure orbital users can use the largest Ground Station Provider, KSAT, which whole space agencies use.
Then, can space agencies use these cloud service apart from security consideration?
Currently, NO. Space agencies use international standard, particularly CCSDS, to have interoperability among space agencies, while AWS and Azure provide commercial standard, such as ANSI standard. Therefore, developing ecosystem is necessary to have interface between Space Agencies assets and these commercial services.
I’m also monitoring Aerospace stocks, especially devices and ground services. The following companies are not judged by stock valuations, but by my thought whether these companies will be potential around 2025 or 2030.
Spacecraft Monitoring & control services and ground station devices.
Kratos is the most potential company, providing ground station devices both to AWS ground station and Microsoft Azure. Kratos is also providing EPOCH, spacecraft monitoring and control software to commercial satellites. Unfortunately, PER will be over 300 times with the rumor that Lockeed Martin might purchase Kratos.
Spacecraft operations services
These companies have strength in European. Thales Alenia and Telespazio are part of these companies. These companies will be valuable compared with US stocks.
Spacecrafts are embedded systems in order to control in limited capacity. Therefore, FPGA and ASIC(Application Specific Integrated Circuit) are key products.
I’m monitoring the listed companies for Hydrogen and NGV(natural gas vehicle). Hydrogen is potential energy to produce electricity, which will be next generation as FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) after EV(Electricity vehicle). Many governments, including California, promote FCV or EV to eliminate CO2 production. Electricity battery is not only applied into automobile but also into airplane, ship, even spacecrafts, meaning that hydrogen energy must be key issue for MaaS(Mobility as a Service).
I estimate that NGV(natural gas vehicle) will be much more attracted between 2025 and 2030 than EV and FCV. Half of energy is coming from natural gas to produce electricity or hydrogen which works for EV or FCV. Using natural gas directly is much more efficient than using electricity or hydrogen which is transferred from the gas. Experts with technology background notice that NGV is much better than EV or FCV, while investors focus on middle-term profit.
InJuly 9th, Japan government signed the participation to Artemis program, Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway Program led by the US. EU and Canada join this program, while China and Russia plan similar program independently.
My comment for this issue is how Japanese government acquire the budget for implementing and operating the program. Annual budge of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency(JAXA) has continued to be stable in 150 billion yen, 1.5 billion USD for more than 10 years. Operation budget for ISS is estimated to be 40 billion yen, 0.4 billion USD. Aerospace Experts estimate that it will cost 500 billion yen, 5 billion USD , in order to deliver one Japanese astronaut to the moon. It will take at least 10 years, even if all budget for ISS is allocated to the program. However, it is impossible to set zero budget for ISS in 2024.
I am skeptical that other aerospace budget such as space science will be cut to save implementation cost.