In case you didn’t know, Microsoft has Azure Space, which is, as the title would imply, a series of space-focused services and products all utilizing the power of Azure. There’s Azure Orbital, Azure Modular Datacenter, Azure Orbital Emulator, and more. Microsoft works with partners such as SpaceX to put these tools to use.
Chirag Parikh is one of the people who led Microsoft’s Azure Space initiatives, becoming its senior director in January 2020. Now, he’s going to be the executive secretary of the United States National Space Council. The White House said the council’s first meeting will be this fall, lead by council chair and U.S. VP Kamala Harris.
This isn’t the first time Parikh has helped the U.S. government with its space strategy. During the Obama administration, he was the National Security Council’s director of space policy.
Though the link is indirect, this is far from the only overlap Microsoft and its services have with the U.S. government. Azure was recently at the center of another security-focused initiative with the Pentagon’s cloud computing JEDI contract. However, thanks to prolonged litigation from Amazon, that contract was canceled. Microsoft is also actively working with the U.S. Army to produce special HoloLens headsets for soldiers.
Given the web of Microsoft and U.S. government entanglements, it’s not a wild curveball that Microsoft’s Azure Space senior director is being tasked with a major role within the National Space Council. This appointment happens not too long after Jeff Bezos reminded the general public that space is the next frontier for commercial travel (an achievement that a Microsoft employee beat him to, coincidentally).
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