To the space station and beyond with Linux

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Summary: The International Space Station's laptops are moving from Windows to Linux, and R2, the first Linux-powered humanoid robot in space, is now under-going in-flight testing.

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

This isn't science-fiction. This is R2, the first humanoid robot in space, and it's powered by Linux. (Image: NASA)

Unlike my recent spoof story about a Linux-powered Iron Man suit that you could build at home, this story isn't science fiction. NASA really has decided to drop Windows from the laptops on the International Space Station (ISS) in favor of Linux, and the first humanoid robot in space, R2, really is powered by Linux.

Keith Chuvala, a United Space Alliance contractor, manager of the Space Operations Computing (SpOC) for NASA, and leader of the ISS's Laptops and Network Integration Teams, recently explained that NASA had decided to move to Linux for the ISS's PCs. "We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable — one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust, or adapt, we could."

Specifically, the ISS astronauts will be using computers running Debian 6. Earlier, some of the on-board computers had been using Scientific Linux, a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone. While not the newest version of Debian, Debian 7 has just been released, Debian is nothing if not well-tested and reliable.

Read the rest here!


Anonymous said...

May the Source (code) be with you !

Anonymous said...

Another good open source application is Libre (Free) Office.

Anonymous said...

Open World: The Open Sourcing of Everything by GlobalResearchTV

Essentially, open source software is software that allows users to inspect, change and share the source code of the program. Instead of passive consumers of a program, users become part of a community to which they can choose to contribute if they are capable and inclined. The difference from everyday consumer culture, where shoppers simply line up to buy products that are already in their final form, and it is almost never expected that shoppers will actually try to open up or modify those products.

Find out more about the open source idea and how it is transforming human interaction in this week's GRTV Backgrounder.

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