Trivia

Hard

The Hubble Telescope Runs Off Which Of These CPUs?

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

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

Which Action Movie Boasts The Most Expensive Fight Scene Of All Time?

Trivia

Hard

Nevermind, A Psychological Horror Video Game, Uses What Technique To Increase Game Difficulty?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Longest Running Incarnation Of Scooby-Doo Is?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Largest Asteroid Impact Site In The World Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

Ethernet Superseded Which Network Technology?

Trivia

Hard

In The 1960s, RCA Invented A Record That Could Play?

Trivia

Easy

What Early Plastic Was Created as an Alternative to Secreted Beetle Resin?

Trivia

Hard

The First Jack O’ Lanterns Were Carved From?

Trivia

Hard

Which Company Used Euler’s Number As Part Of A Recruiting Riddle?

Trivia

Hard

A Phenomenon Known As A “River” Is A Problem In Which Design-Related Field?