HardcoreGamer writes "An Oregon amateur rocket group, the Portland State Aerospace Society, plans to launch a Linux-powered rocket weighing 12 pounds to 55,000 feet at a speed of Mach 3 in September, Wired News reports. The rocket's onboard computer is an AMD 586 processor and a Jumptec MOPS/520 PC/104+ board along with a power supply, a PCMCIA card carrier for an 802.11b card to transmit data to the ground, and a carrier board for a 128-MB CompactFlash card for long-term storage. The flight computer runs a stripped-down version of Debian Linux, with the 2.4.20 Linux kernel. The group will present a paper (HTML | PDF ) on the use of free software in rocketry at Usenix 2003. The real question is whether their network card will survive 10 seconds at 15 Gs!"
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