Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) has hired a former White House National Security Council member to serve as its first-ever director of space policy.
While you might think the appointment is connected to CEO Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space program, the new role actually arose within Amazon Web Services, which is increasingly enmeshing itself in the global aerospace and satellite industry.
CNBC reports Peter Marquez was made head of space policy at AWS and comments on his LinkedIn profile indicate he will be based in Washington, D.C. Marquez held a similar title on the NSC under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Amazon recently established a new Aerospace and Satellite Solutions business unit within AWS that aims to ensure the flow of cloud-based data surrounding space remains accessible, cost-effective, and usable by customers. The company touted its experience supporting commercial and government clients that design satellites and conduct spaceflight operations.
In 2018, Amazon launched AWS Ground Station, a satellite connection service serving NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and mobile voice and data satellite communications operator Iridium Communications, among others.
Amazon has also said it plans to invest $10 billion into Project Kuiper, a network of thousands of satellites to provide broadband internet service globally, similar to Space X's Starlink.