Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprises executives said they have clearly showed the value of the processing data in space and the funneling it into cloud after completing first round of trials on International Space Station’s (ISS) second-generation Spaceborne Computer. Mark Fernandez, the principal investigator for the HPE Spaceborne Computer-2, informed SpaceNews, “We clearly see the necessity for computing at the space’s edge.” “If we can hasten the transformation of data into insight, we can expedite the advantages to humanity.”

With the help of Spaceborne Computer-2, which has been on the space station since February, four tests on quantum computing, security, healthcare, and life sciences have been carried out. Another 29 experiments are in the works, but more could be added throughout the two- to a three-year lifetime of the Spaceborne Computer-2 experiment.

On-orbit processing has always been a difficulty. Custom-built hardware and software for spaceship computers tended to have far slower processing rates and minimal memory than computers designed for terrestrial use. Traditional bandwidth constraints for transmitting data from the space to the ground made it difficult to execute algorithms in space and transfer the generated data to the ground.

“You can compute the findings in orbit” with the Spaceborne Computer-2 allied to Azure, according to Tom Keane, vice president in charge of Microsoft Azure corporate. HPE is anxious to demonstrate that traditional supercomputers running open-source software can operate a range of space-related clients, including principal scientists performing research on the ISS.

Fernandez explained, “That’s the same tools and technology a developer would use.” “The software and hardware are both fresh off the assembly line.” Genomic research was one of the experiments carried out on Spaceborne Computer-2. Principal investigators obtained and processed the data on the Spaceborne Computer-2 before transmitting it to Microsoft’s Azure cloud to compare it to public datasets in order to better understand the effect of spaceflight on humans.

Investigators might have had to wait months, days, or weeks to acquire genomics data if they didn’t have access to a space-centered supercomputer linked to cloud. We managed to get them down within a few minutes by analyzing them on Spaceborne Computer-2, which is connected to Azure, according to Fernandez.

Microsoft and HPE hope to show the value of the supercomputers linked to cloud not just for the space but for the remote terrestrial programs via the Spaceborne Computer-2 application. “I remind my colleagues all the time that if we can do it in space, then we can accomplish it on Earth,” Fernandez added.