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Questions tagged [computing]

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26
votes
4answers
6k views

How many petaflops does it take to land on the moon? What does Artemis need with an Aitken?

All of the top five answers to The Martian: Does it really take a supercomputer to calculate spaceflight maneuvers? are essentially "no, orbital mechanics isn't rocket science". Okay I have used some ...
17
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3answers
6k views

Does the Voyager team use a wrapper (Fortran(77?) to Python) to transmit current commands?

I assume that the vast majority of the people who created the software for these missions are now retired (the "space pensioners" of the Voyager mission). Here's a very good summary of the current ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Getting to Titan and beyond - technology knowledge management to get… anywhere

The article which made me to post this question is actually about (not yet) getting to Titan, but these words provoke thought for any space exploration target, please note it's a NASA engineer telling ...
15
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2answers
2k views

What is a “Lear Processor” and how did it work?

This answer to the question What was the mascon “fix” used by Apollo 12? says (in part): The Tindallgrams have some notes on the matter. See pages 307 to 354 of http://www.collectspace.com/...
6
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1answer
224 views

What language is the Russian segment ISS software written in?

I have heard that the ISS uses a Russian coding language for some of the systems and subsystems on the Russian segment of the ISS. What is that coding language?
101
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6answers
20k views

What makes Ada the language of choice for the ISS's safety-critical systems?

We have it on good authority that Ada is widely used for "safety critical software" on at least the US side of the International Space Station. Of all the possible languages to choose from, what are ...
21
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2answers
3k views

How did the Apollo guidance computer handle parity bit errors?

The following answers mention the use of parity bits in the Apollo guidance computer: this answer to Bits per core for the different versions of the Apollo guidance computer core rope memory? this ...
1
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0answers
52 views

Examples of both hardware and software GNSS recievers

I am writing an essay titled: Critically evaluate the positional fixing capabilities of current smartphone technologies for real world GIS data collection I am wanting examples of both hardware and ...
5
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0answers
162 views

Having deep space probes use AI to decide where to point their cameras?

With New Horizons on final approach to Ultima Thule (2014 MU69) it has been stated that some or all of the images returned may end up being blank due to the camera being pointed incorrectly because of ...
2
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2answers
198 views

How did Russian Scientist analyse the data from Sputnik 1?

I could not find any information about the process of extracting and interpreting data from Sputnik 1, or the involvement of computers in the data analysis of that information. Does anyone have info ...
0
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0answers
81 views

Is there a flight simulator showing the gravity well of the Earth and Moon? [duplicate]

I tried the Kerbal Space program and could not get it working on my CPU. Is there a chart or program that is light weight that I can run simulations on?
8
votes
3answers
288 views

Has in-flight software changes ever involved a change of programming language?

Computer software is arguably the only component of an unmanned spacecraft that can be changed once the mission is already underway. Many spacecraft are now designed to accept new programs through ...
4
votes
1answer
392 views

Raspberry Pis in Space?

I'm aware of the Astro Pi (1, 2, 3, 4) on board the ISS, but have there been any other instances of the RPi in space (Astro or not), for example in cubesats or other spacecraft which contain a ...
13
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7answers
2k views

The Martian: Does it really take a supercomputer to calculate spaceflight maneuvers?

My preemptive apologies for asking a question about a movie, and the spoilers within said question, but considering the widespread support for its scientific plausibility, I'm hoping you'll let it ...
5
votes
0answers
70 views

HPE's demo HPC system; why choose optical and not copper interconnects because of magnetic fields and radiation?

An article in The Next Platform, One Small Step Toward Supercomputers in Space describes a small High Performance Computing system (HPC) built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), to be brought to the ...
0
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0answers
306 views

What are all the ways that FPGAs are used in the Flying Laptop spacecraft?

In the eoPortal's spacecraft Mission profile for the Flying Laptop, the term FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) appears 12 times, including the paragraph below. I'm still having trouble ...
6
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4answers
4k views

What is the most popular programming language in space?

For the purposes of clarification - will include machine code generated by a programming language on earth. - 'in space' includes anything in orbit and deep space transit. - special mentions of ...
18
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2answers
3k views

What was the first programming language in space?

Sputnik 1 was the first satellite in space. Did it have a programming language on board or was it purely analog? in 1949 Von Neumann released the language Short Code. Fortran was invented in 1957. ...
30
votes
1answer
3k views

Why did NASA set up a computing facility in Bermuda in the Mercury epoch?

I'm reading Hidden Figures, and I'm puzzled by an assertion Shetterly makes in a section describing the first few electronic computers installed at NASA, in the run-up to the Mercury project at around ...
5
votes
2answers
270 views

Why would Space Cube 1.0 have so many On-Orbit Upsets over South America?

I was reading about the Advanced Hybrid On-Board Science Data Processor - SpaceCube 2.0 Space Cube 2.0 and I saw maps of computer upsets in orbit recorded by Space Cube 1.0 on slides 8 and 9. What is ...
5
votes
3answers
792 views

SAR image processing

Is it possible for conventional x86 based processor/High precision GPU to be used for image processing for space borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) system? If not, are there alternatives using ...
23
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1answer
1k views

What are some specific examples of the calculations human “computers” did for the Mercury space program?

The movie Hidden Figures tells the story of three black women who were "computers" for the Mercury space program. They performed calculations related to orbits, launches, aerodynamics, etc. What are ...
6
votes
1answer
952 views

How were Frenet frames and Gram–Schmidt orthonormalization used in spacecraft orbit calculations?

I haven't seen the film Hidden Figures yet, but I have read and listened to some dialogue clips in this NPR Review. In it they mention a Frenet frame and the Gram–Schmidt process for ...
1
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0answers
98 views

what brand/make is the laptop articulated arm in sleeping pod?

I saw a video of Sunny Williams she moved the laptop around. Go to time position 1:34. Is this articulated arm available to purchase for consumers on Earth?
17
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1answer
2k views

What space applications, projects and agencies are using the Ada programming language?

The answer to this question mentions the use of Ada-programmed applications on the ISS. Ada was developed for the US DoD to replace a plethora of computer languages (some 465), for mission-critical ...
5
votes
2answers
264 views

How do Field Programmable Gate Arrays affect the capabilities of probes?

FPGAs are microprocessors that can be reconfigured on the fly, through programming, to do different things. They can essentially be rewired, to change what the chip does, in ways that once would have ...
9
votes
1answer
179 views

Do modern CFD codes reduce the number of test firings in an engine program?

Given the complexity of liquid propellant rocket engine development, I wonder if (and how much) modern Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes help to reduce overall development costs. Do they ...
9
votes
2answers
249 views

Could a swarm of probes autonomously establish orbit around an asteroid?

To position a spacecraft around an asteroid, one must know the orbital parameters and orientation of the asteroid and the spacecraft. Formation flying will be more complex in terms of positioning ...
7
votes
3answers
503 views

Can one put a large nickel-iron asteroid into an elliptical solar orbit that results in a soft(ish) earth landing?

My daughter and I are debating whether it is technically feasible to bring a nickel iron asteroid to the surface or the earth non-destructively. I felt it was impossible. Her thought was that with a ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Space computing, general question

What type of computers are used (generally) in robotic ( i.e. space probes and rovers) vs human craft (such as the ISS, soyuz)? Subquestion: What kind of specs are important on computers to operate ...
2
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1answer
2k views

How to calculate new periapsis and apoapsis after orbital velocity change

I'm working on a way of simulating orbits for a video game I'm making. It works by taking the apoapsis, periapsis and current distance and calculating from there the velocity, radial velocity, period ...
20
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3answers
3k views

Fortran and the Apollo 11 mission

I was just wondering, as a Fortran user. As far as I know, the simulations taken in order to carry the Apollo 11 mission was written in Fortran 2. I would like to confirm this from a reliable source. ...
14
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2answers
1k views

What does NASA plan to do with the world's largest quantum computer?

NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division has apparently partnered with Google and acquired the world's largest quantum computer, D-Wave Two™: In a partnership with Google and independent, ...