KIOXIA and HPE collaborate on Spaceborne Computer-2 Programme

American-Japanese memory manufacturer KIOXIA has teamed up with Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) to send solid-state drives into space as part of the HPE Spaceborne Computer-2 programme. 

The HPE Spaceborne Computer-2 is the second in the programme to be sent into space. It follows the successful launch and powering-up of the original HPE Spaceborne Computer in 2017. The programme started as a collaborative project between NASA and HPE to put a commercial, off-the-shelf supercomputer aboard the International Space Station (ISS). 

“It is an exciting time for Hewlett Packard Enterprise as we continue to play an important role in the expanding space economy,” said Jim Jackson, chief marketing officer, at HPE.

“We are pleased to continue our longstanding collaboration with KIOXIA and partner together on our space computing initiatives to bring its storage solutions to the ISS with us.”

About KIOXIA and HPE Spaceborne Computer-2

The first programme was launched to test if off-the-shelf servers could withstand the harsh conditions of space and provide reliable computing aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The HPE Spaceborne Computer-2 simulates computational loads during actual space travel via data-intensive applications.

It is also the International Space Station’s first commercial edge computing and AI-enabled system. The programme is part of a grander mission to advance computing and reduce dependency on communications as space exploration continues to expand.

KIOXIA may not be the best-known brand in the world (or out of it), but it’s one of the industry leaders in NAND flash capabilities. “Astronauts can achieve increased autonomy by processing data directly on the ISS, eliminating the need to send raw data to Earth to be processed, analysed and sent back to space,” Kioxia said in a statement.

The HPE SBC-2 also uses HPE’s edge computing systems (including the HPE Edgeline Converged Edge System and the HPE ProLiant server) to deliver high-performing capabilities, which include real-time image processing, deep learning and scientific simulations.

The SSD space advantage

KIOXIA, which sponsors the HPE SBC-2 programme, has provided flash-based SSDs, including RM Series Value SAS and XG Series NVMe SSDs.

Jim Jackson, chief marketing officer at HPE said: “With HPE Spaceborne Computer-2, together we are pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery and innovation at the most extreme edge.”

“Proving that data centre-level SSDs and compute processing can successfully be deployed in the harsh conditions of space is a challenging prospect,” said Paul Rowan, vice president for SSD marketing and engineering at KIOXIA Europe GmbH. “The synergies that exist when Kioxia and HPE collaborate to leverage our respective technologies are allowing us to explore exciting new possibilities.”

Hyperbole aside – we aren’t fans of the word “synergy” here at TechFinitive – we all know the value of high-speed storage on Earth-based systems. And the ever-growing need for storage. As such, this latest move is undoubtedly an advance for research and data collection aboard the ISS.

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Eoghan O'Donnell

Eogan was a freelance reporter for, covering technology news across hardware, innovation and security. Now based in London, he is proudly Irish and fluent in Gaeilge.