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

Hard

The Longest Photographic Exposure Ever Created Was Used To Capture?

Trivia

Hard

Which Iconic Sci-Fi Character Is Immortalized As A Grotesque On The Washington National Cathedral?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Cooperative Play Console Game?

Trivia

Easy

The Largest Consumer Of Fireworks In The United States Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which Incredibly Shelf-Stable Food Was Once Quite Perishable?

Trivia

Easy

When Divers Get “The Bends”, It’s Triggered By A Buildup Of?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Building On The National Historic Landmark Registry Outside Of The U.S. Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

Informally Called “Hole-In-One” Insurance, The Formal Name For This Insurance Is?

Trivia

Hard

Which U.S. Coin Is The Most Cost Effective To Mint?

Trivia

Hard

Which Children’s Show Features Sets Rendered By The Unreal Game Engine?