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posted by hubie on Tuesday November 22, @10:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the server-crash-and-burn-means-something-different-now dept.

The world's ever-increasing reliance on the internet comes at a physical cost. Data centers, which fulfill the vital role of housing and maintaining core computer services and data, are a central element of any operation that relies on digital resources. They're also physically large; as an organization grows, it does, too. Eventually, organizations are forced to consider not only where to put their data centers, but also how to power them efficiently and how to mitigate their emissions.

In recent years, we've started to stick data centers in deserts or in the middle of the ocean. Deserts present few service-disrupting natural disasters and tend to provide plenty of solar power; the ocean, as with Microsoft's Project Natick, helps keep data centers cool. But desert data centers are still land-intensive, and no Earth-based data centers are without their emissions...the key word, of course, being "Earth-based." The European Union thinks it can beat this challenge by sending data centers into space, and it's already working on testing this theory through a $2 million study called ASCEND.

Advanced Space Cloud for European Net zero emission and Data sovereignty (ASCEND) is the brainchild of the EU and Thales Alenia Space, a European aerospace company. The study's goal is to explore the feasibility of placing data center stations in low Earth orbit (LEO). [...]

If ASCEND is successful, the resulting technology could contribute to Europe's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 under the Green Deal.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by thatsme on Wednesday November 23, @01:21AM (1 child)

    by thatsme (6857) on Wednesday November 23, @01:21AM (#1281183)

    $2 million study?

    Buy any engineer a few beers and he'll do the math and show that this makes no sense whatsoever.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @08:37PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @08:37PM (#1281332)

    Buy any engineer a few beers and he'll do the math and show that this makes no sense whatsoever

    Ah, but that isn't the point of the exercise though, is it?

    As close on 30 years have passed, I think I can safely admit under the cloak of ACdom that I once had a hand in writing up a bid for some of the lovely €U pork that was up for grabs as part of a frankly insane sounding feasibility study for the computerisation and centralisation of a traditionally low tech and localised industry on a pan European basis, but still allowing for the maintenance of a high degree of local and regional autonomy.

    We thought our bid stood a better chance than most, partially as it was a joint venture between three EU member states and they used to just love that sort of shit, but mostly because one of our main participants then girlfriend just happened to be the daughter of his country's head honcho.

    Turns out the whole thing was a load of cobblers and we'd no chance, word came down via a channel mentioned above that the fix was in as the scheme was dreamt up by some Brussels apparatchik as a means to funnel €U pork to friends of his in that industry back in the old country whilst also creating more work for said apparatchik's fiefdom, thus furthering his way up the Brussels bureaucratic greasy pole. No sour grapes involved here, after all, we were playing the same game but unfortunately for us we didn't know how stacked the deck was, the apparatchik and his connections trumped our head honcho's daughter card.

    The monies involved were not insubstantial, and, needless to say, said study went the way of the fabled ouzelum bird, so much so I can't find hilt nor hair of it online.