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What Is NASA Like Now?

Right now, NASA uses five general-purpose computers in its Space Shuttle program. Each one is an IBM AP-101 central processing unit (CPU) coupled with a custom-built input/output processor (IOP). The AP-101 has the same type of registers and architecture used in the IBM System 360 and throughout the 4Pi series29. As of November 2019, it is ranked the 32nd most powerful computer on the TOP500 list with a LINPACK rating of 5.95 petaflops (5.95 quadrillion floating point operations per second) and a peak performance of 7.09 petaflops from its most recent hardware upgrade.

NASA's newest supercomputer at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, has garnered the number three spot on the Top500 list of the world's most powerful computers. One of the most powerful general-purpose supercomputers ever built, known as Pleiades, also features in the world's largest InfiniBand® interconnect network. In spring 2013, engineers installed a D-Wave Two™ quantum computer in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at NASA's Ames Research Center. The system — about the size of a garden storage shed — is housed inside a cryogenics system within a 10-square-meter shielded room.

The engineers themselves use ThinkPad, it is the only laptop certified for use on the Space ThinkPads and have been used aboard the International Space Station since 1998. ThinkPads have been on every NASA Shuttle space flight since 1995, when the ThinkPad 755 blasted off with the crew. Moreover, the NASA internet speed that runs at approximately 91 Gigabits per second; this is about 13,000 times faster than the current speed found in a typical home. Such speed is practically impossible to be availble for use in the home anytime within the near future.

NASA And Robots Today

NASA uses robots in many different ways. NASA uses Robotic arms on spacecraft to move large objects in space. Robotic spacecraft also visits other planets such as Mars. Robotic airplanes are sometimes flown without a pilot aboard. The "Canadarm" robotic arm is used on space shuttles, this can be used for many jobs. The International Space Station has the larger Canadarm2. The Canadarm can release or recover satellites. Astronauts have used it to grab the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA is currently conducting a study on new types of robots. These will work with people and help them. Robots help NASA explore the solar system and the universe. Spacecrafts that explore other worlds, like the moon or Mars, are all robotics. These robots include rovers and landers on the surface of other planets. The Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity are examples of this kind of robot. Sending a robot to space is also much cheaper than sending a human because Robots do not need to eat or sleep or go to the bathroom. They can survive in space for many years and can be left out there — no need for a return trip!

Also, robots can do lots of things that humans can't. Robots already do significant work on the International Space Station. While there are countless sensors and gadgets that help astronauts, robo-astronauts work alongside their human counterparts, completing tasks and making their jobs easier.

Advantages of Robots

  1. They increase production
  2. They are more accurate than humans
  3. They make fewer mistakes
  4. They reduce wastage
  5. They are more reliable than humans
  6. They can work constantly for 24 hours
  7. They are cheap and save a lot of money
  8. They don't complain

Disadvantages of Robots

Although robots can be superior to humans in some ways, they are less dexterous than humans, they don't have such powerful brains, and cannot compete with a human's ability to understand what they can see. Most robots today are used to do repetitive actions or considered too dangerous for humans. Robots are now used in medicine, for military tactics, for finding objects underwater and to explore other planets. Overall, robots are a great tool to help mankind.