ISS Receiving Supercomputer, Arriving With SpaceX Mission

NASA and HP Enterprise have partnered to bring a "supercomputer" to the International Space Station and it may launch with a SpaceX mission on Monday. The kind of computing power offered by the new machine is necessary for the space agency to deal with the kind of data it'll need to process in deep space on long missions.

This supercomputer is being treated as an experimental unit. If it functions fine on the space station, that'll be a good sign for future missions.

This goes along with the space station's mission to facilitate exploration beyond low Earth orbit. If this experiment works, it opens up a universe of possibility for high performance computing in space. - Mark Fernandez, HPE

A year-long experiment with the computer will be carried out in the Destiny module of the ISS. It has a computing speed of around 1 teraflop, making it the most powerful unit ever sent to space. It'll spend the year going through benchmarks and its performance will be compared to the same supercomputer on Earth.