Trivia

Hard

The Hubble Telescope Runs Off Which Of These CPUs?

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

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 Food Dye Is Made From Crushed Up Bugs?

Trivia

Hard

Aztec Kings Wore Cloaks Made From What Unusual Material?

Trivia

Hard

Mining Companies Are Analyzing What Unusual Source To Find Gold?

Trivia

Hard

Which Famed 20th Century Pacifist Influenced The Show Star Trek?

Trivia

Hard

The First Community Service Probation Program In The U.S. Was Focused On?

Trivia

Easy

Sunsets Over The Ocean Will Rarely, But Curiously, Produce A Flash Of?

Trivia

Hard

What Are The Blocks In Tetris Called?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which State Has The Highest Density Of Tornado Touch Downs?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Warm Blooded Fish In The World Is The?

Trivia

Hard

Which University Is The Only One With An Alumni Chapter On The Moon?