[ExI] Why space tech isn't cutting edge

Giovanni Santostasi gsantostasi at gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 19:06:24 UTC 2012

Did actually people do tests with modern chips in space? Or just one earth
using very high energy sources?
None of the astronauts bring with them their ipads?
Or is it that the use of the 486 is based on making sure the vital system
are overbuild for safety?

When we sent payloads with my students to the stratosphere using balloons,
we found out quickly that is not a good idea to send hard drives with disks
that use air as cuscion (for obvious reasons) that were not obvious to us
when we tried the first time.

But we had no problems with solid state drives. But we were in the
stratosphere with still some protection from the atmosphere. How powerful
of a cosmic ray you need to get before failure? Is it permanent? What is
the probability of failure?


On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 11:55 AM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 9:22 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> > Any shielding that is light
> > enough to be carried into space creates a shower of secondary particles
> when
> > hit with a sufficiently energetic cosmic ray
> Composite armor, just like tanks use.  Outer layer converts massive
> attacks into a spray of smaller attacks.  Inner layer optimized to
> stop a bunch of smaller attacks.
> > Recall also that it
> > would need to be shielded from all directions, and that to stop a cosmic
> > particle would take a huge block of lead.
> Not that huge, surely?  Considering how tiny CPUs are, and thus
> the tiny volume that would need protection.
> > In space applications, the motto is if it works, don't mess with it.  The
> > humble i486 works, if you de-clock it from its blazing 40 mega-Hertz and
> are
> > old enough to know the definition of the archeo-prefix mega .  If you
> need
> > any heavy-duty space-calculations, the way to go is to send the data to
> the
> > deck, have the super-computers calculate it and send it back up.
> So how, eventually, do we get sentient AIs - that run on computer
> chips, or some other computing hardware - floating around in space
> and able to munch asteroids (at first, then eventually planets) to
> make more hardware for themselves?
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