HPE Sends a Supercomputer into Space


A step for SpaceX and a giant leap for supercomputers.

HPE is working with SpaceX and NASA to install a supercomputer in space. The supercomputer is dubbed the Spaceborne Computer, and includes the HPE Apollo 40 class systems with a high-speed HPC interconnector running a Linux-based operating system.

Space is a harsh place, and ordinary hardware won’t survive there. However, HPE didn’t make any hardware modifications to the supercomputer. HPE said that it has created a unique water-cooled enclosure for the supercomputer to handle the hostile environment of outer space.

HPE wrote in a blog post that the supercomputer “is part of a year-long experiment conducted by HPE and NASA to run a high performance commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer system in space, which has never been done before. The goal is for the system to operate seamlessly in the harsh conditions of space for one year – roughly the amount of time it will take to travel to Mars."

The supercomputer was launched on August 14 into space via the SpaceX CRS-12 rocket, developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX Corporation, from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.The Dragon Spacecraft is expected to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday morning, August 16.

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