A new supply payload includes a supercomputer resistant to radiation and fresh ice cream as a treat for astronauts aboard the ISS.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket just blasted into space on Monday, soaring into the sky with a bunch of important new research projects after launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Among the fascinating new experiments is one involving looking for the origin of Parkinson’s disease, some small satellites, and even a supercomputer that can resist radiation.
It’s all part of 6,400 pounds of supplies sent aboard a Dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. There’s even some real ice cream aboard as a treat to the six-person crew aboard the International Space Station. The rocket took off from pad 39A at the spaceport in Florida at 12:31:37 p.m. Eastern time.
And once again, SpaceX was able to flip the first stage rocket around, conduct a series of maneuvers to slow it down, and then settle it down on a landing zone about nine miles south of pad 39A.
“Spaceborne Computer intends to run a year-long experiment of high performance commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer system on the International Space Station (ISS),” according to a NASA statement. “During high radiation events, verify if the systems can still operate correctly by lowering their power, and therefore, speed. This research helps scientists identify ways of using software to protect ISS computers without expensive, time-consuming or bulky protective shielding.
“The research objectives of the Spaceborne Computer include a year-long experiment of operating high performance commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer systems on the ISS with its changing radiation climate. During high radiation events, the electrical power consumption and, therefore, the operating speeds of the computer systems are lowered in an attempt to determine if such systems can still operate correctly.”