Trivia

Hard

The Hubble Telescope Runs Off Which Of These CPUs?

An AMD Athlon 64
An Intel Pentium Pro
A Motorola 68020
An Intel 486

Answer: An Intel 486

While consumers clamor to get their hands on the best and newest hardware, when it comes to designing systems for the rigors of deep space, NASA takes a more conservative approach. Hardware used in NASA designed rockets, shuttles, and satellites is selected based on stability and longevity, not necessarily on speed or cutting edge technology.

A perfect example of this is how dated the Hubble Space Telescope’s primary computer system is (both in context of the time it was launched and relative to technology today). When the Hubble was launched in 1990, the primary computer on board was a 1.25 Mhz DF-224 system built by Rockwell Autonetics. During the first service mission in 1993, astronauts added in a co-processing unit which consisted of two redundant strings of an Intel-based 80386 processor with an 80387 math co-processor. In 1999, during service mission 3A, astronauts replaced the entire primary computer with a 25 MHz Intel-based 80486 processor system.

For a frame of reference, in relation to the consumer market at the time (1999), the first Intel Pentium III variant “Katmai” was dominating the consumer market and was capable of maxing out at 600 Mhz.

Trivia

Easy

Airplanes Are Regularly Struck By What?

Trivia

Easy

What Do Scientists Use To Accurately Measure The Distance Between The Earth And The Moon?

Trivia

Hard

Canada And Which Of These U.S. States Have Very Similar Population Sizes?

Trivia

Hard

In 2011 Scientists Successfully Extracted Organic Material From Amber And Created?

Trivia

Hard

The First Toy Advertised On Television Was?

Trivia

Hard

The Sound Of Orcs Chanting In The Lord of The Rings Movie, The Two Towers, Is Actually What?

Trivia

Hard

What Did The First Vending Machine Dispense?

Trivia

Hard

In Ancient Warfare, Both The Greeks And Romans Fought Off War Elephants With?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Random-Access Memory Device?

Trivia

Hard

The Inventor Of Which Technology Thought Very Poorly Of His Invention?