Brian McDaniel

Aspire to Inspire

Microsoft Azure, the cloud computing platform of tech giant Microsoft, is venturing into space development with its new initiative that aims to empower developers and connect spacecraft running AI workloads to the Azure cloud. The driving force behind this initiative is Tom Keane, the corporate vice president and general manager of Microsoft Azure Global. 


Keane’s vision is to reduce the barriers to entry in the space industry and provide developers with the tools and services they need to develop, analyze, deploy, and operate space applications both in orbit and on the ground. By leveraging Azure Services, developers now have the opportunity to harness the power of Microsoft’s hyperscale Azure cloud for their space-related projects.


Tom Keane Brings New Partners On Board


One of the key partnerships forged by Microsoft through this initiative is with NASA and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Together, they are developing an AI workload test that will run on the International Space Station (ISS) to detect potential damage to astronaut equipment. Tom Keane explains that by utilizing Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, this collaboration aims to enhance the safety and efficiency of space missions.

Cloud Industry Executive of the Year Tom Keane

Another noteworthy partnership is with Loft Orbital, a company specializing in space infrastructure tools and platforms. Microsoft Corp and Loft Orbital are working together to develop, test, and validate software applications for space systems using Microsoft Azure. For Tom Keane, the seamless deployment of these applications to satellites in orbit allows for more efficient paths to flight and facilitates the utilization of shared on-orbit hardware.


With these strategic collaborations, Tom Keane adds, Microsoft Azure is solidifying its presence in the space industry and actively contributing to the advancement of space exploration and sustainability (Twitter). 

Tom Keane’s visionary leadership has not only garnered recognition in the industry but also paved the way for groundbreaking partnerships. This will revolutionize space development. It is this forward-thinking and innovative approach that earned him the prestigious WashingtonExec’s 2021 Pinnacle Award for Cloud Industry Executive of the Year.