Trivia

Hard

The Hubble Telescope Runs Off Which Of These CPUs?

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

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

The Only Rock That Floats In Water Is?

Trivia

Hard

The “COCOM Limit” Is A GPS Security Regulation That Affects Recreational?

Trivia

Easy

The Rise Of Which Mode Of Transportation Inspired The Invention Of Wheeled Luggage?

Trivia

Hard

Originally, Star Trek Writers Intended To Make Which Planet Spock’s Home World?

Trivia

Hard

The First Radio Jingle Was An Advertisement For Which Of These Products?

Trivia

Hard

The First Person To Be Honored With A Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star For Live Performances Was?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Weather Phenomena Are Known As “St. Elmo’s Fire”?

Trivia

Hard

Brief Bright Flashes In The Night Sky Called “Iridium Flares” Are Caused By?

Trivia

Hard

Which Movie Featured A Different Ending Depending On Which Theater You Saw It In?

Trivia

Hard

The Composition Of The Iconic “Bliss” Windows XP Wallpaper Was Only Possible Because Of?