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Computers - February 18, 2024

Computer servers ‘stranded’ in space

Computer servers 'stranded' in space 1

A pair of Hewlett Packard Enterprise servers despatched up to the International Space Station in August 2017 as an test have nonetheless now not come lower back to Earth, three months after their intended return.

Together they make up the Spaceborne Computer, a Linux system that has the supercomputer processing power.

They had been sent up to look how long lasting they could be in a space with the minimal specialist remedy.

After 530 days, they’re still working.

Their go back flight changed into postponed after a Russian rocket failed in October 2018.


HPE senior content material architect Adrian Kasbergen said they may go back in June 2019 if there’s a space on a flight, however, “right now they haven’t got a price tag”“.

The business enterprise is working with Nasa to be “computer-equipped” for the first manned Mars flight, anticipated to take vicinity in approximately 2030. The agency is also running with Elon Musk’s Space X.

Cooler air

Currently, the 20-12 months-vintage machines controlling the ISS return facts to Earth for processing. This is feasible because it takes much less than a 2d to get the information back.

But on a Mars project, the time taken for a statistics round-ride will grow to greater than forty minutes because the planet is millions of miles away. That manner the statistics processing will be done on the spaceship.

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The 3 unique computers on board the ISS had fee $8m each and brought 10 years to construct, Mr. Kasbergen told BBC News.

“Our servers fee hundreds, as opposed to thousands and thousands of dollars,” he introduced, speaking on the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC), in Barcelona, where HPE is displaying a reproduction model of the ISS Destiny Module.

The Spaceborne Computer is currently embedded in the ceiling of the actual issue, Mr. Kasbergen said.

While the servers themselves had been now not modified, they did get a bespoke cooling answer.

The servers had been placed in an airtight container with a radiator this is set up to the ISS water-cooling machine. Hot air from the computers is guided through the radiator to quiet down and then circulated back.

Mr. Kasbergen said there have been problems with the redundancy energy deliver in addition to some of the redundant stable-country drives.

But he stated the failures have been treated by means of the self-reliant control software that changed into a part of the test.

The gadgets will want to be inspected again on Earth to find out what went wrong.

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