For space travel to happen efficiently, the need for supercomputers has always been a significant factor. For a long time, scientists used earth stationed computers until Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and NASA came up with a better solution.
Thanks to Dr. Mark Fernandez, Hewlett Packard’s tech officer for HPE, a supercomputer was launched into space, a little over two years ago. The Spaceborne computer was set to fly aboard the International Space Station hence proving that a high-performance computer could survive in space. The computer went through several tests before its launch to ensure that it worked as it ought to. It was later launched into space, allowing it to collect as much information as possible before its travel back home.
The History Behind the Race to Computing in the Stars
The Spaceborne project had taken over three years before its launch. The project was initially NASA’s until they discovered that the road to Mars would be longer than they expected. In a meeting in 2014 with HPE, NASA submitted their project, hoping that the initial plan would serve as a foundation for something practical.
Fernandez and his team took the challenge and launched the supercomputer in 2017. The computer collected some excellent information to help the team find a way to get information in real-time, not 24 minutes later, as it had been before.
It has always been costly to power and cool a supercomputer. This has not been the case for a device in space. Tapping into the Moderate Temperature Loop, which keeps the human environment within certain temperatures in space, has made cooling easier by expelling heat, then releasing it into space for free.
Right temperature conditions in space have allowed the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) software on the supercomputer to work effectively hence monitoring the landing possibilities on Mars. More research is still under test before a final verdict can be made.