[ExI] Why space tech isn't cutting edge

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Nov 19 20:29:58 UTC 2012



From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Giovanni
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 11:06 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] Why space tech isn't cutting edge


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? 





Giovanni, many questions here, short answer: modern electronics will work to
some extent in space.  The problem is that you cannot operate those
electronics in such a way that your mission hangs on them working reliably.
Usually single event upsets can be reset with something analogous to a
reboot: just interrupt power and let it come back up using firmware.
Problem is, modern electronics like laptop computers don't rely much on
firmware.  Laptop computers have been taken into space, and they work, but
cannot be used for control algorithms.



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