A New Space Craft: A Few Laptops To Do The Work Of “Mission Control”

This entry was posted by Sunday, 15 September, 2013
Read the rest of this entry »



A few days ago, I wrote about a brainier dune buggy . It does a lot of the work that ground based scientists used to do.

Today I’ve got another one. A smarter rocket ship.

Why have a room full of humans  hunched over computers to control a space launch? Isn’t that from another era? If a dune buggy can be made smarter,  why not a space vehicle?


A rocket  should be able to do its own  instrument checks  asking for a “consult” only when necessary.

The Japanese  Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) read my mind. A few days ago, it launched a 3 stage rocket and, according to Science Recorder (Ellen Miller), the whole thing was controlled with just two  laptops. The rocket handled the nitty gritty, allowing the human controllers to concentrate on higher order decisions.

MISTER ScienceAintSoBad was impressed.

Meanwhile, NASA’s beaming about its new “21st Century Control Center”.  It has replaced those bulky old workstations with newer “cleaner” computers But, you know what? I think NASA should have a look at what its Japanese counterpart is doing.  NASA launches more and bigger vehicles but isn’t this the direction that it should be headed?

What do you think?

– – – – – –

Drawing by me


Leave a Reply