NASA switches off its last mainframe

The days of needing a number crunching mainframe to explore space are a thing of the past.

According to Network World, NASA has switched off its last remaining mainframe saying that it no long needed any Big Iron.

NASA CIO Linda Cureton wrote in her blog that Marshall Space Flight Centre pulled the plug on the IBM Z9 Mainframe, which to be fair, was never designed to be the sort of computer power that Dr Evil would need to control the world. It was more of a medium sized supercomputer for those with modest domination plans, such as taking over Peckham.

Cureton wrote that when she first worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the IBM 360-95 was used to solve complex computational problems for space flight.  It put humanity on the moon, for example.

While the new mainframes are the size of a refrigerator and the old ones are huge, they are not really needed any more when it’s possible to do the required number crunching on a PC.