Are Off-World Data Centres a flight of fancy or grounded in reality?
The demand for more and more computing resources on Earth be they for drug discovery, automated cars, bit coin mining et. al. threatens to exceed the available power. In space the necessity of having adequate computing resources grows as the round trip time for radio signals exceeds that of the time to solution – think medical emergency, or another Apollo 13. Habitation of other worlds will require computing to support the geologists, botanists, meteorologists as well as the medical teams. These computers will require to be autonomous to handle failures and changing workloads, as it is unlikely that there will be an IT specialist or sys admin amongst the first astronauts on Mars. Dr Bennett looks at the work necessary to provide resilient, performant, computing resources for deep space exploration including Mars habitation, and how we could take advantage of the limitless power and cooling available outside the constraints of our gravity.