Siemens and AWS: Accelerating digital innovation in space travel

By Scott Salzwedel

Wow… Space tourism is about to take off. But not in the way you think.

Space Perspective, a space tourism start-up based out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, is about to launch its space tourism program – sending civilian adventurers (like you and me) to space.

What makes this program so unique?

In a comfortable, luxurious and pressurized capsule suspended by a large space balloon, eight lucky souls and a pilot will climb effortlessly through the stratosphere at about 12 miles per hour. Eventually, the capsule will hover at 100,000 feet above earth for about two hours before a quiet and gentle descent back to Earth where it splashes down in the ocean.

The Siemens and AWS partnership: turning “what ifs” into reality

The project creates a three-pronged challenge for Space Perspective: 1) The design of the capsule; 2) The rigging between the capsule and balloon; and 3) The balloon itself. Further, the design requires robust analytics capable of figuring out the complex loads and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) of a six-hour round trip that involves travel through air, space, and water while maintaining a safe, comfortable environment for passengers. The key is to see how the capsule behaves in all these environments under various conditions.

The Siemens and AWS partnership allowed Space Perspective to reduce analysis time for structural, thermal and other analyses that impact capsule design from 168 hours down to 8 to 12 hours. Space Perspective was able to run Siemens Simcenter STAR-CCM+ at 100 Gbps on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) which provided secure and resizable compute capacity. Amazon EC2 C5n Instances delivered cost-effective, high-performance compute power at a low, price-per-compute ratio for advanced compute-intensive workloads.

It’s interesting to note before working with Siemens and AWS, Space Perspective was facing prohibitively lengthy (and costly) analysis times and needed a comprehensive suite of tools that could handle the enormous processing requirements of its CFD modeling. With the help of the partnership, and Siemens Xcelerator, a small start-up was able to tap into the massive compute power it needed with very little downside.

Watch the Space Perspective video for the complete story

Please visit the Siemens and AWS partnership website to watch the video. The video is easy to find and it’s well worth your time. You’ll hear directly from the folks at Space Perspective.

Also, listen to the podcast for even more detailed information

Check out the Space Perspective case study on AWS.

Space flights are due to take off later this year. Reserve your spot now!

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at