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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: 2) by istartedi on Wednesday November 23, @04:52PM

    by istartedi (123) on Wednesday November 23, @04:52PM (#1281290) Journal

    One of the unintended consequences of making environmental policy almost exclusively based on CO2 emissions is that such policies are often worded in such a way as to create accounting shuffles that trade other forms of environmental harm for reduced CO2 output, or perhaps actually increase CO2 output by running it somewhere else off the books.

    I defy you to tell me that a space-shot data center puts out less CO2 than an earth-based solar powered data center. "Oh look, no CO2 from ongoing operations". Yeah. The launch? The satellite up/down link? Bite me. It's almost certainly a scam.

    It's not the worst though. The one that always gets me is the one where they cut down trees, shipped them across an ocean and burned them because "firewood is carbon neutral".

    F*** me. So many scams.

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