Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Expansion in Space Computing

CAPE CANAVERAL (FL), January 23, 2024 – Expanding its venture into space computing, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will debut an updated HPE Spaceborne Computer-2 to the International Space Station (ISS). The commercial ready-made supercomputer, based on HPE EdgeLine and ProLiant servers, has the goal of reshaping the path of high-performance computing in space. Sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory™, HPE will experiment with the updated supercomputer through a trial program.

The project will be sent to the space station during Northrop Grumman’s 20th Commercial Resupply Services (NG-20) mission. HPE Spaceborne Computer aims to advance continuous research on the orbiting laboratory, including faster processing of Earth observations from station and more efficient monitoring of astronaut health.

“The Spaceborne Computer has the potential to not only speed up data processing in space but also hasten the exchange of data insights between Earth and space,” stated Mark Fernandez, principal investigator for HPE Spaceborne Computer-2. “This ultimately streamlines in-space research and boosts the utilization of edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning on the space station.”

A frontal view of Spaceborne Computer-2

Norm Follett, senior director of the space technology and solutions group at HPE, added, “We plan to continue helping the scientific community prove the value of high-performance computing at the edge. We’ve got several experiments queued up to do that, and we’re excited to get Spaceborne Computer-2 back up there.”

Equipped with software that enables performance in the harsh space environment, the first version of HPE Spaceborne Computer was initially scoped as a yearlong proof-of-concept investigation to test its endurance and capabilities. Following that successful trial period, the mission was extended another six months. Spaceborne Computer was tasked to conduct operational research that initiated the era of high-performance computing in space. That first investigation earned HPE an ISS Innovation Award in Technology Development and Demonstration. Next was the initial debut of HPE Spaceborne Computer-2, which included new hardware to enhance the research that could be done onboard the space station, including AI and machine learning capabilities.

For this third debut of HPE Spaceborne Computer, the company is working with KIOXIA to add extra flash memory storage to the system to test storage and recovery on long-term space missions. Fernandez’s team seeks to push the boundaries of research capabilities and eventually set new standards for operating efficiency in space. “The technology provides the high-power computing and AI computing power that top thinkers need to explore big questions that benefit humanity,” Fernandez said.

“As a southern Louisianian, I’m especially interested in ways this technology can help provide more efficient Earth observations that could offer life-saving information for flood victims and emergency personnel in the aftermath of hurricanes,” he said.

The NG-20 mission is targeted for launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station no earlier than January 29 at 12:29 p.m. EST. This mission will include more than 20 ISS National Lab-sponsored payloads. Please visit our launch page to learn more about all ISS National Lab-sponsored research on this mission.

The ISS National Lab and NASA will host a prelaunch science webinar on January 26 at 1 p.m. to discuss a variety of research investigations slated to launch on NG-20. For more information and to register, please visit our webinar advisory.

Download a high-resolution for this release: HPE’s Spaceborne Computer-2

Media Contact:       
Patrick O’Neill

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About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: The International Space Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that enables research and technology development not possible on Earth. As a public service enterprise, the ISS National Lab allows researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to improve life on Earth, mature space-based business models, advance science literacy in the future workforce, and expand a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit. Through this orbiting national laboratory, research resources on the ISS are available to support non-NASA science, technology and education initiatives from U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space™ (CASIS™) manages the ISS National Laboratory®, under Cooperative Agreement with NASA, facilitating access to its permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space. To learn more about the ISS National Lab, visit www.ISSNationalLab.org.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, CASIS accepts corporate and individual donations to help advance science in space for the benefit of humanity. For more information, visit our donations page.

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