Axiom Module
Axiom Space, which now plans to install its first commercial module on the ISS in late 2025, is among the commercial space station developers seeking more clarity from the government on how they will be regulated. Credit: Axiom Space

SAN FRANCISCO – LEOcloud, a startup focused on space-based edge computing, announced a strategic collaboration agreement Nov. 15 with commercial space station provider Axiom Space.

Under the agreement, the companies will work together to develop and deliver space-based cloud services linked to terrestrial cloud computers.

“The value and benefit of edge computing on Earth is well known and understood,” Dennis Gatens, LEOcloud CEO and founder, told SpaceNews. “Extending that edge into space is the underlying value proposition here. Compute and data storage needs will be met in a local environment versus the application workloads run back on Earth.”

For data customers, the primary benefit will be “reducing the timeframe from raw data to actionable insight, whether it’s a government, military or commercial customer,” Gatens added.

LEOcloud’s space-based infrastructure will be designed to host Microsoft, Red Hat and other cloud services.

Microsoft share’s LEOcloud’s strategic vision to extend cloud services into space.

Azure Space hosted on LEOcloud’s infrastructure will enable customers to run artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in orbit while collaborating with colleagues on Earth.

“Our collaboration combines the possibilities of space with the power of Microsoft Azure extending its capabilities anywhere in the universe through new space infrastructure making cloud connectivity and compute increasingly attainable for all at the ultimate edge—on-orbit in space,” Steve Kitay, Microsoft Azure Space senior director, said in a statement. “Together, Microsoft and LEOcloud can unlock brand new edge and cloud computing scenarios equipping organizations around the globe with fresh insights from space data to drive innovative solutions to their most complex and time-consuming questions.”

Similarly, Red Hat sees its collaboration with LEOcloud as helping to “provide a common foundation from core to edge to cloud to deliver a reliable and secure infrastructure for mission critical, high-stakes environments like space,” Francis Chow, Red Hat Edge vice president and general manager, said in a statement.

LEOcloud has been establishing relationships with industrial partners since the company was founded in 2021 to offer edge computing for space operations and to establish a constellation of space-based data centers.

Partners include Exodus Orbitals, a startup developing an application hosting platform in space, ground segment-as-a-service startup Leaf Space and Ramon.Space, a startup that offers computers designed for the space environment.

“Ramon.Space has significant heritage in delivering compute and data-storage solutions into a number of projects, including deep-space projects,” Gatens said. “That enables companies like LEOcloud to deliver it as part of a service.”

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...