beowulf in space

Dean Johnson dtj at
Fri Apr 25 11:05:07 EDT 2003

On Fri, 2003-04-25 at 00:31, Jim Ahia wrote:
> So the radiation concerns with rad-hardened computer equipment are not
> as much of a problem once clear of the Van Allen Radiation Belt?  How
> does this affect the space station and the planned missions to mars? 
> What about the lunar environment?  I admit to having a lot of ignorance
> on this subject, but I am concerned because part of my college project
> is for robotic teams to do excavation / mining using a "hive" concept. 
> The end result is to get more information on the challenges that will be
> faced by the robotic workers that are eventually sent to the moon first,
> and to mars second.
> I am not speaking about the exploration missions by NASA, but rather
> the much-farther-down-the-road commercial mining interests that will
> want to build a foundry on the moon and a spacedock in earth orbit prior
> to the big colonization push into our solar system.  I believe it is
> going to happen someday, because we already know that eventually our sun
> will go nova and earth will be no longer habitable.  Sooner or later
> mankind, if it is to survive, will need to undergo some kind of diaspora
> and migrate out into space.  

In terms of setting up mining operations on other celestial bodies, cpu stability
and radiation protection are amongst the least of your worries. What will be
needed is "diplomacy hardened" and "bureaucracy proofed" processes. Technical
issues are largely tractable, one way or another, but the institutional and 
international issues will be like herding cats on crack.


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