Cisco Webex Goes to Space 2022 Edition
by Jim Lundy
Cisco announced in early January that it is going to space as part of the new unmanned Artemis I mission to the moon. While this is not Cisco’s first foray into space, this technology demonstration bodes well for the future of communications and collaboration in space. This blog discusses important aspects of Cisco’s move.
How Is Cisco Going to Space?
The program is called Artemis and it is going to deep space – in this case sending humans to the South Pole of the moon.
Cisco WebEx is the main communication that is being used in the Callisto Communications project, which also has additional partners including Amazon Alexa and Lockheed Martin. The goal is to power up a prototype communications platform that’s being integrated and managed by Lockheed Martin, the designer of the Orion spacecraft.
While the initial Artemis I mission is unmanned, there will be a virtual spacecraft crew that can test out the Calista communications platform. Aragon feels that this move will help to continue to push the innovation opportunities for Cisco in commercial space.
As of now, there are three space opportunities – commercial space tourist trips, the moon mission, and the Mars mission that is underway via SpaceX.
How Will Cisco WebEx Work When It’s in Space?
Cisco is going to use the NASA deep space network to actually communicate from space to earth using both voice and video. While this is a prototype, the demand for voice and video communications in commercial space will likely continue to grow.
Innovation in Communications and Collaboration
While this is a small market, what does show is the true innovation power of the combined entities to come together and deliver something that previously, people would have thought was impossible.
The Cisco investment to partner with Amazon and Lockheed Martin to take video conferencing to space with an off-the-shelf product shows that Cisco is committed to its core business and it is willing to take risks. This follows a significant investment to remake the Cisco Webex One offering, which is now an intelligent platform. We will be monitoring this development as the mission proceeds.