Trivia

Hard

The Hubble Telescope Runs Off Which Of These CPUs?

An AMD Athlon 64
An Intel 486
An Intel Pentium Pro
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

The Theme Song Of Which Popular TV Show Was Actually Performed By The Star Of The Show?

Trivia

Hard

Which Hollywood Action Hero Has A Spider Named After Him?

Trivia

Hard

The Oldest Currency Still In Use Is The?

Trivia

Hard

In Japan, Which Of These Things Are Deep Fried As An Autumn Treat?

Trivia

Hard

The Longest-Lived Rodent Species Is The?

Trivia

Easy

Which One Of These Common Food Crops Is Deadly If Stored Incorrectly?

Trivia

Hard

Grazing Cows Naturally Align Themselves With?

Trivia

Easy

The Largest Number Of Remaining Blockbuster Video Stores Are Located In?

Trivia

Easy

Which Laboratory Boasts The Most Nobel Prize Winners?

Trivia

Very Hard

NASA Modeled The Apollo Re-entry Modules After What Naturally Occurring Shape?