Europe: there are plans to move data centers into space


Data centers are centers that collect and process huge volumes of digital data and their maintenance requires large amounts of energy , contributing significantly to pollution. Europe wants to move them into space in order to make them carbon neutral.

The idea is part of the Ascend project (Advanced Space Cloud for European Net zero emission and Data sovereignty) of the European Commission and the feasibility study was commissioned to a joint venture Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), called Thales Alenia Space . Ascend wants to aim to install data centers in orbit powered by solar energy produced directly in space and connected to the earth thanks to high-speed Internet connections based on optical communications.

The project could make a significant contribution to meeting the emission abatement targets by 2050, but everything is yet to be defined in detail. Thales Alenia Space will lead a consortium of companies with different areas of expertise: from environment (Carbone 4, VITO), to cloud computing (Orange, Cloud Ferro, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Belgium), to launch vehicles (Ariane Group) and orbital systems ( German Aerospace Center DLR, Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia Space).

The first point of the feasibility study will be to verify whether the carbon emissions for the production and launch of the infrastructures will be significantly lower than those generated by land-based centers. The second point involves demonstrating the feasibility of developing the required launch solution to ensure the deployment and operation of these space data centers using robotic assistance technologies currently under development in Europe.

  • Europe is studying to move data centers into space (


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