Montana State University (MSU) researchers designed a radiation-hardened computer that was chosen by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to be tested on the Moon, one of 12 science and technology payloads to be launched in the next two years.
MSU's Brock LaMeres said the RadPC will be sent to the Moon to see if it can tolerate high-energy radiation particles; if it can, the system could be tapped as the primary flight computer for future lunar missions.
The RadPC employs inexpensive, commercially available processors that run in parallel, so radiation-induced malfunctions in one would cause the others to identify the fault, assume its workload, and reprogram any damaged memory.
A Moon-bound RadPC will feature radiation-measuring sensors, which LaMeres said would generate data that could be useful to long-term human missions.
From Associated Press
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