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NASA Turns to Edge Computing to Protect ISS Astronauts from Contamination

NASA is looking to leverage edge computing to eliminate the need to transport massive amounts of information from space and slash the time it takes to process information from weeks to hours. NASA aims to accomplish this through using a containerized, analytic code where data for a complex DNA sequencing project is produced on the International Space Station. Edge computing is an information technology architecture that allows data to be processed within close proximity to its originating source. One representative stated that the ideology behind the new initiative is a huge shift that will be critical in expanding the boundaries of space exploration.

The initiative will also help to protect astronauts from any microbial contamination or dangers from microorganisms in space. ISS scientists have been analyzing and sequencing the DNA of microbes in samples collected by astronauts from the air, water, and surface. By using edge computing, scientists will be able to assess the samples faster as it takes a while to receive the cultures back on earth. The process helps to ensure astronauts’ safety when it comes to threats posed by space-based fungi and bacteria.

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