Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

RELEASE: 04-353

NASA Unveils Its Newest, Most Powerful Supercomputer

NASA unveils its newest supercomputer today during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the agency's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. The "Columbia" is one of the world's most powerful supercomputing systems. Columbia was named to honor the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia lost Feb. 1, 2003.

"This amazing new supercomputer system dramatically increases NASA's capabilities and revolutionizes our capacity for conducting scientific research and engineering design," said NASA Ames Research Center Director G. Scott Hubbard. "It will be one of the fastest, largest and most productive supercomputers in the world, providing an estimated 10-fold increase in NASA's supercomputing capacity. It is already having a major impact on NASA's science, aeronautics and exploration programs, in addition to playing a critical role in preparing the Space Shuttle for return to safe flight next year," Hubbard said.

Comprised of an integrated cluster of 20 interconnected SGI® Altix® 512-processor systems, for a total of 10,240 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors, Columbia was built and installed at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility at Ames in less than 120 days.

"The Columbia system is a tremendous development for NASA and the nation. Simulation of the evolution of the Earth and planetary ecosystems with high fidelity has been beyond the reach of Earth scientists for decades," NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate Ghassem Asrar said. "With Columbia, scientists are already seeing dramatic improvements in the fidelity of simulations in such areas as hurricane track prediction, global ocean circulation, prediction of large scale structures in the universe, and the physics of supernova detonations," he said.

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