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