The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) has launched a platform which accelerates Hubble Space Telescope research with blockchain technology. There is so much data generated by the Hubble Space Telescope, the leading telescope for investigating deep space, that the government and researchers don’t have enough computing power to thoroughly analyze all of the data.

This effort is led by STScI scientist Josh Peek. He says, “Tens of millions of CPU hours can really run up a bill. NASA and STScI use computing centers and that’s a way we can go… but there’s long latency period where you go through a grant process… and so the idea came up that we could use a distributed network to do this really efficiently, it’s 10 times cheaper than standard cloud computing.”

Only a tiny amount of time is spent on each galaxy observed by Hubble, resulting in barebones results that might have errors. To put this in perspective, each galaxy has billions of stars like our Sun, and billions of planets, and it is detrimental to the advancement of space science not to process the data for each galaxy as much as possible.

STScI has partnered with blockchain platforms Hadron and AIKON to improve this situation. On Hadron’s platform, user’s computers collectively process and categorize millions of deep space images. Hadron pays computers for their work with AIKON’s CPU token, which is a stable coin fixed to the price of CPU power at major cloud hosting companies like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

In the end, STScI gets the processed data and an invoice from AIKON, and the computing power is supposedly much cheaper than renting from the major cloud hosting companies because Hadron users are renting out their spare computing power that they don’t otherwise need. For now, STScI has a supply of free CPU tokens to get this project started.

Thus, the combined efforts of STScI, AIKON, and Hadron have produced a blockchain application that will accelerate our understanding of the universe.

 

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