Home SECURITY What SSD drives are used in space missions to Mars and the Moon

What SSD drives are used in space missions to Mars and the Moon

What SSD drives are used in space missions to Mars and the Moon


What SSD drives are used in space missions to Mars and the Moon

To process hundreds of thousands of photographs of Mars, “space” SSDs are required, which were described by their manufacturer Phison.

Phison, a manufacturer of SSD drives, spoke about its products, which are installed on the Perseverance rover and are planned for use in the Lonestar Data Holdings lunar data center.

The Perseverance rover, which launched from Earth on July 30, 2020 and landed in Lake Jezero Crater on Mars on February 18, 2021, is equipped with an 8 GB PSS4A111-8G industrial SSD from Phison. The drive is used to process, store and transfer photos from 23 cameras of the rover. For 2 years of work, Perseverance sent over 166,000 images to Earth.

Phison also revealed new details about the storage system on the rover. It consists of an Intel Atom E3845 processor with 4 cores and 8 GB of RAM installed on a Compulab COMEX IE38 motherboard. The processor is responsible for receiving, compressing and merging images from cameras. Two SSDs are connected to the motherboard: 8 GB PSS4A111-8G with SATA interface and 480 GB NVMe SSD. Both drives have a high degree of protection against harsh environmental conditions.

Motherboard Compulab COMEX IE38 with SSD from Phison

Phison also stated that its SSD drives are involved in other space projects. Skycorp has delivered equipment for experiments on the International Space Station, including a 4TB Phison E18 SSD connected to a Microchip Technologies Polarfire system-on-a-chip.

Another project is the Lonestar Data Holdings lunar data center, which offers archiving and data processing services on the Moon. For this project, Skycorp provided a RISC-V based server system with an 8TB SSD from Phison. This drive has passed NASA Technology Readiness Level (TRL-6) certification, surviving the extreme temperatures and vacuum conditions on the Moon, as well as the stresses of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch.

April 2022 Lonestar announced the signing of contracts for the launch of a prototype data center aboard two lunar landers with NASA-funded aerospace company Intuitive Machines.

Lonestar will test the software by storing a small piece of data on Intuitive Machines’ Nove-C lander hardware. Intuitive Machines also plans to send another Nova-C lander to the Moon’s South Pole in 2023 as part of the IM-2 mission, with a Lonestar memory device the size of a book and weighing 1 kg with 16 TB of memory. A tiny experimental data center (DPC) will store immutable data for an early beta version of Lonestar’s Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). The data center will be running Ubuntu.


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