Trivia

Hard

The Hubble Telescope Runs Off Which Of These CPUs?

An Intel Pentium Pro
An Intel 486
A Motorola 68020
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

Hard

Which Of These Astronomical Phenomenon Is Unique To Earth In Our Solar System?

Trivia

Hard

The Sandbox Tree Spreads Its Seeds Via What Mechanism?

Trivia

Easy

Julius Caesar Popularized Which Cryptographic Technique?

Trivia

Hard

James Randi Will Pay You One Million Dollars To Prove What?

Trivia

Hard

Which Tech Company Maintained A Secret Nuclear Reactor For Over Thirty Years?

Trivia

Hard

The First Product Placement In Hollywood Was For?

Trivia

Hard

Which Popular Video Game Was Written Almost Entirely In Assembly Code?

Trivia

Hard

Maps That Are Geometrically Distorted To Display Related Data Are Called?

Trivia

Hard

Before They Became World Renowned For Phones, Nokia Was Famous For?

Trivia

Easy

Electronic Resistors Are Commonly Distinguished With What Markings?