Computers at the International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) isn’t just an orbiting laboratory, spaceship testing-ground and multinational geek-fest — it’s also the world’s highest (250 miles) and fastest (17,500mph) computer network. Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) allow constant radio communications in the S- and Ku-band, while UHF signals are used to talk with the Space Shuttle and crew members on spacewalks. There’s also a single IP phone for cheap interstellar calls and ‘limited’ webcam video-conferencing abilities. There is significantly large network on board the Station, comprising 68 IBM ThinkPad A31 laptops and 32 Lenovo ThinkPad T61p devices. Space Station IT: High technology article tells about the IT technology used on board. Interview: The Space Station’s IT guys interviews Tyson Tucker and Joey Crawford, the NASA flight controllers responsible for maintaining uptime in mankind’s first permanent space colony. I saw those interesting articles first mentioned at Slashdot.



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  3. Tomi says:

    Take a look atSpace Shuttle Discovery’s Launch Photo Gallery
    from the people who actually launch the shuttle into space.

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  7. Tomi says:

    International Space Station Infected With USB Stick Malware Carried on Board by Russian Astronauts

    Renowned security expert Eugene Kaspersky reveals that the International Space Station was infected by a USB stick carried into space by a Russian astronaut.

    Kaspersky said he had been told that from time to time there were “virus epidemics” on the station.

    The Russian said this example shows that not being connected to the internet does not prevent you from being infected.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    International Space Station Mission Extended To 2024

    “Obama Administration has approved an extension of the International Space Station until at least 2024. We are hopeful and optimistic that our ISS partners will join this extension effort”

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  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Russian computer failure on ISS is nothing to worry about – they’re just going to turn it off and on again
    The one place where you really don’t want your comp to die

    It’s never a nice feeling with your computer keels over, wiping out work, sometimes requiring hours of maintenance and basically ruining your day.

    But spare a thought for the three astronauts currently in the International Space Station who discovered earlier today that one of the three computers in the station’s Russian module had failed.

    it plans to reboot the machine on Thursday and that its failure doesn’t put the crew in danger

    All space programs have a high degree of redundancy for situations exactly like this

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    After years of operations, engineers noticed that most of the failures on ground and on-orbit computers occurred in memory modules on one of the printed circuit boards of the computers. Each time, a failed computer was removed, returned to ground for repairs and then re-launched, with a long turn-around and impact on logistics.

    Following extensive technical discussions and testing on Earth, engineers proved that a new printed circuit board, with the same form and function but built using modern and available components, could be the solution.

    International Space Station computer gets a heart transplant


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