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MSU to send computer to moon

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A Montana State University computer earned a spot on the 2020-2021 NASA lunar mission. PHOT COURTESY OF PEXELS

MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY

BOZEMAN – After sending their computer to the International Space Station and into Earth’s orbit on a satellite, Montana State University researchers will elevate the decade-old project and send their creation to the moon.

NASA recently announced that an MSU team led by Brock LaMeres won a coveted spot on a 2020-2021 lunar mission, which will be the biggest trial yet for the radiation-tolerant computing concept conceived by LaMeres, who is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“The dream has always been to get (this technology) that far out into space,” LaMeres said.

The Rubik’s Cube-sized computer prototype, called RadPC, is one of 12 science and technology payloads selected to journey to the lunar surface as part of NASA’s Artemis lunar program.

RadPC’s task will be to show that it can withstand high-energy radiation particles emitted by the sun and other celestial bodies.

If it can do that, “it would mean it’s a proven technology that could be used in future lunar missions as the primary flight computer,” LaMeres said.

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