Fighting COVID-19 with NASA supercomputers

Space Science

The 512-processor SGI Altix supercomputer, at NASA Ames Research Center, named ‘Kalpana’ after Columbia astronaut and Ames alumna Kalpana Chawla, is being used to develop substantially more capable simulation models to better assess the evolution and behavior of the Earth’s climate system.
(Image: – © Thomas N. Trower.)

MYSTERY WIRE — With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread in the United States and around the world, there are many ways governments are fighting the virus. In the U.S. one of the resources being used are NASA supercomputers.

In a new article from, NASA is joining the effort to look for potential treatment and vaccine candidates. The initiative brings together NASA and the National Science Foundation as well as Department of Energy laboratories, other companies, and academic institutions.

The White House announced the effort to divert spare computing resources to research aimed at slowing the pandemic on March 23.

Part of the new mission is NASA redirecting its supercomputer time to the Earth science division. in a statement on Twitter, Science Mission Directorate head Thomas Zurbuchen wrote, “Researchers input satellite data to run climate models to predict Earth’s future climate. NASA is pleased to lend our supercomputing expertise to assist in the global fight against #COVID19.”

The White House says researchers working on projects related to COVID-19 can apply for time on the supercomputers speeding up calculations necessary for slowing the pandemic.

America is coming together to fight COVID-19, and that means unleashing the full capacity of our world-class supercomputers to rapidly advance scientific research for treatments and a vaccine.

Michael Kratsios, U.S. Chief Technology Officer

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