Microsoft will offer cloud-computing services for space customers using SpaceX's low-orbit spacecraft, which is being developed, as well as traditional satellite fleets orbiting the earth at higher altitudes.
SpaceX will use Microsoft Azure's orbital emulator, according to an interview with SpaceX Chief Executive Gwynne Shotwell, Space News reported.
The emulator is a digital environment that enables users to visualize an entire satellite architecture, test satellite designs and artificial intelligence algorithms, Space News reported.
"We will be delivering to the government a number of satellites that host a capability to protect against ballistic weapons," Shotwell said, according to Space News.
"Microsoft will be doing quite a bit of work as a subcontractor, which I think was kind of a funny twist to the relationship here."
Earlier this month SpaceX won a $149 million Department of Defense contract from its Space Development Agency to build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles.
The satellites are scheduled to be delivered by September 2022. They are designed to process data on board and retask themselves autonomously.
The Azure emulator would enable users to see what the satellite sees to help model scenarios and simulate the architecture, according to Space News.
Microsoft shares at last check were rising 1% to $216.45.