SpaceX Falcon 9 used Linux OS to Launch Astronauts to the International Space Station


Amid corona virus pandemic Space X launched its first manned rocket to the space. The year 2020 was not a good start, not to the US as death tolls were rising but there was sheer of joy in the US because they had launched a rocket from US soil to the International Space Station (ISS) after a decade. This made Space X the first private company to launch NASA’s astronauts. SpaceX mission is still incomplete as the main objective us to reuse the ship and bring back the astronauts safely to the earth. Astronauts will be staying and serving the ISS for 110 days and then return to earth in the same ship. From the year 2010 Space X’s falcon 9 rockets had been launched 89 time with 87 mission successes. And after 10 years Space X made a history.

Interesting thing about Falcon 9 was it uses linux system. As many mission critical and real time technologies uses Linux . As reported, there-were 35 core developers who coded the falcon 9 and the simulation software. The Falcon 9 onboard processor consists of 3 dual-core x86 processors and the flight software is completely coded on C/C++. Space X is also the first private space agency to use open-source software in the space.

Falcon 9 Rocket Family Credit : Wikipedia

3 processor cores are used because SpaceX uses an Actor-Judge system which provides redundancy. Every time a decision is made, it is compared with the results from the other cores. If there’s any disagreement, the decision is void and the process is restarted. If every processor core comes up with the same result than only the decision is sent to the PowerPC microcontrollers. 

The Falcon 9 Dragon spacecraft runs on Linux with flight software written in C and C++. The touchscreen interface is processed using Chromium and JavaScript. and the astronauts have physical buttons to control the spacecraft


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