A Linux supercomputer continues to run smoothly after 530 days on the International Space Station. This is the Spaceborne Computer and it was built by HP to check if a high performance hardware is able to operate in space despite the harsh conditions and high radiation rates.
Its mission was designed for a year, since it is the time it will take to travel to Mars, the next destination of this supercomputer. But a failure in the Russian Soyuz rocket forced to delay its return to Earth, scheduled for October 2018.
After more than a year running at full capacity, it can be said that the experiment has been successful. Not only has it been working perfectly all this time, it has served to verify that it’s possible to carry out intensive computation experiments without help from the Earth.
The astronauts have used it to perform calculations directly in space. In this way, it is possible to reduce the time it takes to get the data to Earth and bandwidth is released from the communication channel of the International Space Station with NASA.
If the results of these tests are as desired, it would be a great advance in the mission to Mars, since the estimated queu time to send and receive data from Earth is about 40 minutes.
The Spaceborne Computer is scheduled to return to our planet in June of this year. Once on mainland, NASA scientists and HP engineers will analyze the data and make the necessary adjustments so that it can travel on the mission to Mars, scheduled for 2030.