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'Microprocessors used in spacecrafts' page

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The first one lacks any real details, like what country? The Soviet Union used Z80 clones years after the west moved to 16 and 32 bit machines.

Using 64180 systems for development? A 6MHz 64180 is about the speed of an 8 MHz Z80, so the dev boxes ran about the speed of a 20MHz Z80.

The Z180 is mostly the same (some buss interface differences) as the 64180, but some of those are clocked over 30MHz now. He didn't know what to look for.

The 64180/Z180 also have a hardware multiply. If they used a custom Z80 that supported that, it would speed up some of the calculations significantly.


dbase II wasn't just a CP/M program, and that may have been running on a PC, the guy never says.


An hour to compress an image? Yikes! You wouldn't get many images back from Venus that way.



C64 programs aren't really used by NASA or the people who own the satellites, and similar programs were available for other machines.

Probably just ports of the same BASIC software.


The mini satellites were a student experiment that got hauled into space, but why send up expensive hardened parts for a short experiment where cheap parts will do.

The 6502 can be pretty low power too, so a small inexpensive power source would be practical for the duration of the experiment.

Sadly, it doesn't say how long the mini-satellites had to stay active or much about what the experiment was.

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I had a comx35. That used the RCA 1802, processor. Think it was only sold in the Netherlands.

The Galileo spacecraft was the only one to use the 1802.

I looked at the assembly language a few years ago and it was interesting.

Probably not in a great way though... not sure, it's been a while.

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I'm pretty sure that's right. The 1802 is mistakenly known to have been used in the Voyager 1 & 2 craft. And that's a bit of trivia that simply will not die. As a kid I believed that for the longest time.


Voyager 1 & 2 had their 3 CPUs built from discrete ICs.


You can read more somewhere in here.




This thread gets me thinking about how cool machines and computer are when it comes to space exploration. And it's continually amusing how most everyone (myself included) believe that you need big-ass chips that have billions of megahertz to operate spacecraft. You don't.


The physics equations that govern motion in the Solar System are rather well known for centuries now. Only accuracy continues to improve. And even the simple computers like a 1MHz Apple II can work through those equations. And most things happen slowly in space. Like a Hohmann Transfer Orbit to Mars. Lots of time spent doing nothing. It isn't like flying the X-Wing, you know?


In fact housekeeping duties like orientation, power management, instrument operation, data-compression & storage.. that sort of thing.. taxes a computer more than the flying and maneuvering part.

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Reliability is more important than brute force.
It doesn't matter how fast it gets you data if it doesn't last long enough to make the trip.

Mars rovers used an 8085, or radiation hardened PowerPCs.
The 8085 is a micro-controller version of the 8080, and it's what the TRS-80 Model 100 uses.

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