Posted by Megalith 1:25 PM (CDT)
Saturday August 12, 2017
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.
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.