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HP ZBooks at zero Gs

HP ZBooks at Zero Gs

Reading time: 3 minutes
April 8, 2016 was a big day in space travel. That’s when SpaceX successfully landed a rocket on an ocean platform. And that same mission delivered five HP ZBook 15 Mobile Workstations to the astronauts in the International Space Station.
NASA refreshes the computers on the space station every four years—and starting this year, a total of 120 ZBook 15s will be launched into space.[1] Here's how ZBooks perform in space (and on Earth):
  • Rugged. Not every computer can handle the demands of space. The ZBook 15 went through lots of tests[1]—including getting blasted with radiation—to make sure it could still function optimally onboard the space station. It also withstood a rigorous battery of Military-Standard 810G testing including drop, shock and extreme temperatures, plus 10 years’ worth of radiation exposure.[2]
  • Powerful processors. The ZBook uses new 6th generation Intel® Core™ processors.[4]
  • Lightweight design. The ZBook 15 weighs in at a svelte 4.18 pounds, which makes rocketing 120 of them 240 nautical miles off the planet just a little easier.
  • A massive memory. ZBooks are loaded with up to 1 TB internal memory5 that lets astronauts save and organize their valuable research.
What are the astronauts going to be doing with all those workstations? Here are some of the cool things they’ve got going on:
  • Command and control. The ZBooks will interface with the systems to provide command and telemetry functions which support vehicle control, life support and critical maintenance operations.
  • Mission support. The workstations will be used to support more than 500 experiments conducted each year.
  • Physical and mental health. HP ZBooks will be used to monitor and support the health of astronauts enduring the rigors of space. This includes everything from retina eye exams to video conferencing and IP Phone calls to support connectivity with family and friends to support mental well-being.

So how did they get those laptops up there, anyway?

The ZBook 15s hitched a ride on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The rocket carried Dragon, a free­flying spacecraft designed to deliver cargo to the space station. After breaking through the earth’s atmosphere at supersonic speed, Dragon was able to approach the space station; then the space station crew used the station’s 57.7­foot robotic arm to reach out and capture it. Watch the exciting mission here.
[2] MIL-STD testing is pending and is not intended to demonstrate fitness for U.S. Department of Defense contract requirements or for military use. Test results are not a guarantee of future performance under these test conditions. Damage under the MIL STD test conditions or any accidental damage requires an optional HP Accidental Damage Protection Care Pack.
[4] Sold separately or as an optional feature.
[5] For hard drives, GB = 1 billion bytes. TB = 1 trillion bytes. Actual formatted capacity is less. Up to 16 GB (for Windows 7) of system and up to 30 GB (for Windows 8) disk is reserved for system recovery software.
Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Core, Core Inside, Xeon and Ultrabook are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries

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