Edgy: HPE's first message from the International Space Station to Microsoft's Azure? 'hello world'

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Microsoft and HPE were cock-a-hoop yesterday pinch nan trumpeting of information bursts from HPE hardware aboard nan International Space Station (ISS) to Microsoft's Azure, starting pinch nan inevitable "hello world".

HPE's first spaceborne computer, based connected an Apollo 40-class system, returned to Earth successful 2019 aft astir 2 years aboard nan ISS. The 2nd went up earlier this year, replete pinch Red Hat 7.8 to support things ticking complete and package to grip immoderate failures erstwhile components person a zapping successful nan harsh situation aboard nan ISS.

Oddly, Microsoft's bragging connected nan matter yesterday concerning information bursts pumped from HPE's hardware into Microsoft's unreality grounded to mention that Linux was moving nan show. Windows for Space Stations, anyone?


How are your cabling skills? (pic: NASA)

At nan clip of launch, nan reasoning was that Azure Space mightiness beryllium utilized for nan occasional workload. After all, 1 of nan goals of Spaceborne missions is to show onboard autonomy and Spaceborne-2 upped nan hardware specs pinch GPUS aimed astatine instrumentality learning and image processing arsenic good arsenic Cascade Lake Intel Xeon processors (an betterment connected nan Broadwells of before).

Shoving HPE's Edgeline Converged EL4000 Edge System into nan operation is nan eventual illustration of separator computing, and usage examples were fixed including having nan hardware measure postulation trends, pollution, and rocket launches.

However, Spaceborne-2 has besides demonstrated nan expertise to offload computations to Azure, making champion usage of nan meagre bandwidth (two hours per week pinch a maximum velocity of 250 kilobytes per second, according to Microsoft) to nonstop only nan information that needs nan other scrutiny afforded by Microsoft's Azure computers.

  • HPE Spaceborne Computer-2 slips disconnected nan support – and disconnected nan planet: Boxen heading to ISS
  • When humans return to nan Moon successful '2024', HPE would for illustration america to remember: We built nan machine that simmed this
  • HPE's Eng Lim Goh connected spaceborne computers, NASA medals – and AI astatine nan last frontier
  • The Reg chats to HPE's HPC man astir NASA's supercomputers, lunar ambitions and Columbia

Dr Mark Fernandez, main interrogator for Spaceborne Computer-2 astatine HPE, told The Register: "I envision location will ever beryllium a request for processing astatine nan 'core'. i.e. edge-to-core aliases edge-to-cloud. But nan early holds 2 promises. One is that separator processing will go much powerful and nan request to process astatine nan halfway will beryllium reduced. Hence, self-sufficient computers alteration self-sufficient explorers.

"Secondly, orbiting 'gateways' aliases next-gen Space Stations astir nan Moon and Mars whitethorn location supercomputing, AI/ML, Quantum, and different capabilities capable to reside nan requirements."

Thus far, HPE has completed 4 experiments (including shunting "hello world" down to Microsoft's cloud). Four others are nether measurement and 29 much are successful nan queue.

The timepiece is ticking, however. The US information of nan ISS is only funded done 2024, though an hold seems apt unless personification sends nan position disconnected into different rotation pinch a borked subject module.

"We've sewage to get arsenic overmuch arsenic we tin done successful nan clip we person left, " said Christine Kretz, vice president of programs and partnerships astatine nan International Space Station US National Laboratory. ®