Amazon’s cloud powering NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover

Amazon, the online super-retailer and South Lake Union Overlord, has the cloud computing system that best suits NASA’s latest and greatest mission to Mars — storing images and data from the space rover Curiosity’s mission.

As reported by the LA Times, NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory picked Amazon’s web services for its Mars Exploration Rover and Mars Science Laboratory missions because there is just so much “large-scale data processing to be done.”

The JPL touted the speed with which images, videos and more could be uploaded to mars.jpl.nasa.gov for the public to view, and the Web infrastructure to support the data was built in two to three weeks within AWS, instead of months if the space agency had built one in-house.

“At this point, JPL’s data centers are filled to capacity, so we’re looking for ways to cost effectively expand the computational horsepower that we have at our disposal,” Khawaja Shams, manager for data services at La Canada Flintridge-based JPL, told the LA Times. “Cloud computing is giving us that opportunity.”

NASA’s JPL has used other companies’ cloud computing offerings in the past, including Microsoft, Google and Lockheed. Now, if only there were intelligent life on the planet, we could get Facebook involved in some Martian social networking.