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10 Space Exploration Trends to Watch

From troubled to triumphant
4/16/2014 03:40 PM EDT
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KevinCBaxter
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One additional trend
KevinCBaxter   4/16/2014 4:35:40 PM
Okay the SpaceX booster recovery might not yet be a "trend", rather a recent game
changing development that will alter most future space launches. Their ability
to recover and reuse boosters will radically reduce the cost of launches and
will give SpaceX a unique advantage over competitors for some time, until they
all catch up.

LarryM99
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CEO
Huge Jump in Processing Power
LarryM99   4/16/2014 7:54:18 PM
One trend that will be come evident in future missions will be a significant jump in processing capability. Recent tests have shown that current cellphone SoC's are as good at resisting radiation as the specifically hardened dinosaur CPUs that NASA has been using. We will be seeing a huge jump in sophistication of missions as a result and better power utilization. That still is primarily robotic missions, but it seems like the private sector is going to start driving more and more of the ambitious exploration.

ChipBuilder
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Re: Huge Jump in Processing Power
ChipBuilder   4/16/2014 10:18:15 PM
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@LarryM99: what is your reference, is the test data published?

LarryM99
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CEO
Re: Huge Jump in Processing Power
LarryM99   4/16/2014 11:44:19 PM
I have a reference for the original test at http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/why-nasa-is-firing-cell-phones-into-space-20130424 and I saw a presentation from Dr. Larry Matthies, who is a supervisor for JPL's Computer Vision Group. He is putting in a proposal for the next Mars mission with an autonomous flyer based on hardware like I described.

I have not seen published data, but my understanding was that lower voltages and smaller geometries significantly increased the resistance to radiation errors.

ChipBuilder
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Re: Huge Jump in Processing Power
ChipBuilder   4/16/2014 11:47:36 PM
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Thank you. 

David Ashton
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Blogger
Astronauts and cosmonauts
David Ashton   4/17/2014 4:54:00 AM
One wonders if the astronauts and cosmonauts look down on the borderless Earth and ponder humankinds' stupidity.

You don't have to be up in space to ponder Mankind's stupidity.......

junko.yoshida
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Blogger
Re: Astronauts and cosmonauts
junko.yoshida   4/17/2014 10:11:22 AM
Ha, ha, that's true. But once viewed from the space, I could only imagine stupid things we do on earth would probably look even sillier!

rick merritt
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Author
Re: One additional trend
rick merritt   4/18/2014 3:17:50 AM
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@KevinCBaxter: It is going to be so fascinating to see if a commercial space business can gai traction--and when and how!

rich.pell
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Blogger
Re: One additional trend
rich.pell   4/18/2014 8:32:33 AM
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"It is going to be so fascinating to see if a commercial space business can gain traction--and when and how!"

Not a question of "if" but "when."

Fabio007
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Rookie
Re: Huge Jump in Processing Power
Fabio007   4/18/2014 11:52:02 PM
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@LarryM99:

"lower voltages and smaller geometries significantly increased the resistance to radiation errors."

Was that a typo?   Do you have data backing up this claim?  

My understanding is that lower voltages and smaller geometries REDUCE the resistance to radiation errors, ie: for the ICs used in todays smartphones, exposure to radiation will increase the rate of occurence of data errors, compared to the older, larger ICs operating from higher voltages (5V).  I have heard that the old 486 was the last IC that US military would accept for radiation hardened applications.

 

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