In case you didn’t know, Microsoft offers Azure Space, which is, as the title suggests, a series of space-focused services and products all using the power of Azure. There is Azure Orbital, Azure Modular Datacenter, Azure Orbital Emulator, etc. Microsoft is working with partners like SpaceX to put these tools to good use.
Chirag Parikh is one of the people who led Microsoft’s Azure Space initiatives, becoming its senior director in January 2020. He will now be the executive secretary of the US National Space Council. The White House said the first board meeting will be held this fall, chaired by Chairman of the Board and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
This is not the first time that Parikh has helped the US government with its space strategy. During the Obama administration, he was the director of space policy for the National Security Council.
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While the link is indirect, it is far from the only overlap Microsoft and its services have with the US government. Azure was recently at the center of another security-focused initiative with the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud computing contract. However, thanks to a prolonged litigation from Amazon, that contract was canceled. Microsoft is also actively working with the US military to produce special HoloLens helmets for soldiers.
Given Microsoft’s network of entanglements and the US government, it’s not a crazy curveball that the senior manager of Microsoft Azure Space is given a major role on the National Space Council. The meeting comes shortly after Jeff Bezos reminded the general public that space is the next frontier for business travel (an achievement that a Microsoft employee beat it, coincidentally).
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