Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Saturday August 12, 2017

SpaceX and HP Enterprise to Send Supercomputer to ISS Next Week

A SpaceX CRS-12 rocket will launch from Kennedy Space Center to bring an HP supercomputer, the Spaceborne Computer, to the International Space Station next week: it’s part of an experiment to see how long off-the-shelf computer components can survive the harsh conditions of space. NASA has been forced to send a regular supply of laptops to the ISS, as space travel has been limiting their lifespan to mere months.

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The HPE Spaceborne Computer, which is built with the assistance of NASA, is based on HP’s high-density (and aptly-named) Apollo 40 servers, running an unspecified version of Linux, and using a custom water-cooled enclosure for the mission. NASA only approves computers for space use if they’ve been sufficiently ruggedized in order to withstand space conditions -- like radiation, solar flares, subatomic particles, micrometeoroids, and so on. To accomplish this, HPE built a software system that can automatically adjust for environmentally-induced computer errors, while adjusting the Spaceborne’s Computers performance based on current conditions.