Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Stardust

While I was at JPL they were doing design work on the Stardust mission in the lab we built. We had a "rapid prototyping" environment with hardware and software for doing design and prototyping work for the faster, smaller, cheaper type missions. In particular we had an SGI machine that was pretty good for its day. When I'd take people through the lab I'd be sure to show them the SGI machine and bring up a 3D model of the Stardust spacecraft that was under design development at the time. It was always a big hit. Until the day we added another 256MB of memory to the machine just before Ed Stone (the director of JPL) came by for a tour. We didn't notice that one of the fans on the machine was out, so the extra memory caused it to crash periodically. Bummer.

Anyway, it's nice to know that I can participate in Stardust again in some small way via the Stardust@Home program.

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