Space Station User’s Guide | SpaceRef

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Space Station Computer Systems

Space Shuttle and Space Station Laptop Computers

  • 18 September 2000 : 2001: A Space Laptop, SpaceRef

    “Like most busy commuters these days, astronauts need to take their laptop
    computers with them on the road – even if they are travelling at 17,500 miles
    per hour in a billion dollar space shuttle between Earth and the International
    Space Station. Given that NASA often touts itself as being at the cutting edge of
    technology you’d expect that they’d lavish nothing but the latest and speediest
    laptop computers on their astronauts. Alas, that isn’t the case. But don’t think that these folks aren’t being given the tools they need either.”

    Note: This article describes (in detail) the IBM Thinkpad 760XD laptops in use on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station – as well as a short history of laptops in space and the modifications needed to take off the shelf hardware and make it work in space.

  • 7 April 2001: Houston, Windows Has Problems, Wired

    “Most of the problems appear to be related to Microsoft’s Windows NT, while Russian-made software seems to be more reliable … Although it’s not easy to say whether the problems are restricted to U.S.-made software and hardware alone, the only praise Shepherd expresses is toward a couple of Russian-made software applications.”

  • Portable Onboard Computers,
    All Expedition Flights
    , International Space Station
    Command and Data Group, JSC-48529, Mission Operations Directorate
    Operations Division, 15 December 2000 [Acrobat]

    This 135 page document details the procedures for setting up laptop computers aboard ISS including network schematics covering both US and Russian segments. Included are detailed 3D drawings of where computers can be located within the Service Module.

  • Shuttle/Payload Interface Definition Document
    for the Payload and General Support
    Computer (PGSC)
    , NSTS 21000-IDD-760XD,
    Space Shuttle Vehicle Engineering Office
    July 1999 [Acrobat]; IDD Update [Acrobat]

    “The Payload and General Support Computer (PGSC) is a service used to support Shuttle and
    Payload on-orbit operations. The primary functions are command and display of non-critical
    payloads and additional crew information services.

    The purpose of this document is to:
    a. Define and control the interfaces provided by the PGSC and
    associated components for use by payloads and crew software, and
    b. Define and control constraints observed by payload and crew support

  • Shuttle/Payload Configuration Management Plan
    for the Payload and General Support Computer
    , JSC 27891,
    Space Shuttle Vehicle Engineering Office
    October 1997 [Word] [Acrobat]

    “The purpose of this document is to define the Payload and General Support Computer
    (PGSC) configuration management plan which will provide the governing control and
    implementation of laptop computer requirements for the Space Shuttle Program. This
    document establishes the responsibilities and activities needed to ensure proper
    integration, configuration, maintenance, and control of all proposed changes to the laptop
    products for the Shuttle Program.”

  • Assessment of the Portable Computer System and the Data Display Process, G-99-010A, NASA Inspector General’s Office [Acrobat], 11 August 2000:

    “While performing work related to our assessment of the International Space Station (ISS) Program Implementation of Communications Security and Automated Information Security Measures (G-99-010), we became aware of problems involving the Portable Computer System (PCS) and the accuracy of displays developed for the PCS. This report outlines our concerns about the ISS PCS and the process that is used to develop the displays for the PCS. We are bringing these concerns to the attention of ISS management for appropriate action.”


  • Space Operations Computing (SpOC) Team Software Catalog, Space Station Users Guide, Space Ref

    Note: these pages are modified versions of presentations previously online and available for public viewing for several years at NASA JSC’s website. These pages were recently taken offline by NASA.

  • Software flown on the STS-106 Mission, STS-106 Mission Guide, Space Ref

    This pages contains links to a list of the software carried aboard the PGSCs as well as the LAN configration used on orbit during the mission.

    Space Station Computer Network References

  • Computers and associated hardware to be flown aboard the ISS between missions 2A to 7.A.1 [Word] [Acrobat]

    This document lists the specific computers and associated hardware that will be flown to – and used on – the International Space Station between missions 2A to 7.A.1.

  • International Space Station Command and Data Group Portable Onboard Computers
    All Expedition Flights
    , JSC-48529, Mission Operations Directorate, Operations Division, May 1, 2000 [ Acrobat]

    This 106 page document describes the installation and activation of the Space Station’s portable computers, LAN (Local Area Network), communications system and peripheral devices such as printers.

  • Ops LAN/File Server/SSC Operation Concepts, Rev B, January 1999, DO3/SSC Operations, NASA JSC [Word]

    This document describes the way in which the Space Station’s portable computers will be linked together via the ISS LAN. Included are lists of hardware, LAN topologies, and a description of the overall functionality of the system.

  • International Space Station Operations Local Area Network (OPS LAN)
    Interface Control Document
    , JSC 36381, February 2000, Baseline [Word] [Acrobat]

    “The contents of this document are intended to be consistent with the tasks and products to be developed by International Space Station participants. The SSC Operations Local Area Network (OPS LAN) Interface Control Document shall be implemented on new activities and may be implemented on existing projects by an authorized change request. Implementation is performed by the Station Support Computers (SSC) project. This document is under the control of the Station ­ Portable Onboard Computer Control Board (S-POCCB) and any changes shall be approved by the Chairman or delegated authority.”

  • Crew Computer and LAN Integration, Team 5A.5
    27 March – 4 April 2000
    RSC-E, Moscow Russia
    [Word] [Acrobat]

    “The objective of this meeting was to develop a technical proposals for an integrated onboard network architecture based upon the operational requirements called out in the Crew Computer and LAN Integration, Team 5A.5 protocol of TIM 25, March 2000.”

    Russian Segment Computer Systems

  • FGB Computer System Hardware Block Diagram (ISS MAL/ 3A/ BAS A/ MULTI) [Acrobat] [Word]

    This one page document contains a schematic which shows how the FGB’s computer systems are connected within the FGB as well as to systems inthe Service Module and Node 1.

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