HPE-built supercomputer to help NASA land humans on Moon
San Francisco: After entering into a four-year, multi-phase partnership with NASA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has said it custom-designed a new supercomputer that will support the US space agency’s Artemis programme, a mission to land the next humans on the lunar South Pole region by 2024.
The supercomputer, named “Aitken”, has been designed for NASA’s Ames Research Centre and will support modelling and simulations of entry, descent and landing for the agency’s missions, HPE said on Friday.
Aitken, named after Robert Grant Aitken, an American astronomer specialising in binary star systems, will run thousands of complex simulations more quickly at 3.69 petaFLOPs of theoretical performance to enable accurate and safe landings on the Moon.
Aitken is based on the HPE SGI 8600 system, an end-to-end, purpose-built high-performance computing (HPC) platform, which includes special liquid cooling capabilities for optimal energy efficiency.
“HPE has a longstanding collaboration with NASA Ames, and together, we continue to build innovative HPC technologies to fuel space and science discovery that increase overall efficiency and reduce costs,” said Bill Mannel, Vice President and General Manager, HPC and AI, at HPE.
“We are honoured to have designed the new Aitken supercomputer and power capabilities for humanity’s next mission to the Moon,” Mannel said.
Aitken is located in NASA Ames’ new modular supercomputing facility, based on a Modular Data Centre (MDC) approach jointly developed with HPE, to deliver advanced high-performance computing solutions that drive greater efficiency and significantly reduce electricity and water use.
The new facility, based in Mountain View, California, will combine native Bay Area temperature and evaporative methods to cool the supercomputer, replacing the need for a cooling tower and millions of gallons of water.