NASA – Big Consumers of Data Recovery – Here’s Why

Landing on the moon

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is responsible for the level of technology we are currently at. Their innovations over the last handful of decades have made life a lot better. NASA is responsible for such everyday labor-saving appliances ranging from smoke detectors to protective paint. However, NASA needs support as well, since it uses a lot of modern-day technology in its missions. They don’t have to reinvent the wheel if we already have something that performs the tasks they need. They do manage to improve these everyday devices quite a bit. A good example is, of course, the everyday hard disk drive. NASA uses these in almost every device that requires an onboard storage medium. Because of this fact, NASA is probably the largest consumer of data recovery in the world.

The History of the Hard Disk Drive

Originally, storage media used by computing machines were massive, room-filling magnetic disk drives. These were developed as an intermediary storage solution between the random access memory (which was expensive) and the tape drives (which were cheap). The hard disk drive decreased in size along with computers and the price per megabyte. Because of advances in technology, the cost of these drives has decreased and the capacity increased exponentially. In the past, hard disk drives were created using platters, with a read/write head needed to access individual sectors of the disk where information was written. The amount of moving parts in these disks made them unsuitable for use in anything that had a range of movement that could cause damage to the platters via vibration or jittering. The solution to this problem was the invention of the solid state drive (SSD). NASA has recognized the need for SSD’s in their upcoming missions and as such have embraced this new technology as something they would need in their journey forwards and upwards. However, SSD’s have their own series of problems.

The Problem with SSD’s

SSD’s generally are better at storage than HDD’s in that they are faster and allow access to data much quicker than an HDD possibly could. It is a common misconception that SSD data is more secure than HDD data. It isn’t. Also, because of the way SSD’s are constructed, they fall victim to some problems much easier than HDD’s. Among the problems that SSD’s find it hard to cope with are sudden electromagnetic surges, static electricity, unexpected power loss and electrical charges in their vicinity. You can immediately see where this could be a problem for NASA. Solid state date storage only has a certain limited number of recyclable storage patterns and eventually these will run out, making data storage difficult or impossible in some cases. On SSD’s when a block becomes crippled and unable to hold data, the data is transferred to the next available block, As transfers continue to happen and bad blocks mount, eventually the drive will reach a critical point where it can no longer save data and the data already on the drive needs to be recovered. Drive life can be extended by updates to the drive’s error correcting code (ECC).

NASA’S Need for Data Recovery in the Future

As we have no doubt read in the news, NASA has some grandiose plans for the coming years, inclusive of a possible manned mission to Mars within the next couple decades. These projects require a large amount of data processing and storage to figure out problems before they occur. In situations such as this, NASA cannot afford to have lost data, especially since their simulation systems can take months or even years to generate enough usable data so they can get a consensus from it. This is where memory recovery comes in Companies such as eProvided serve NASA as a backup recovery solution when their SSD’s fail in operation. With the large volumes of data that NASA will deal with on a day to day basis, it’s no wonder why their SSD’s fail and require recovery. NASA’s growth and continued usage of SSD’s will require a dedicated solution for the recovery of its data when the inevitable strikes. As much as we would love to have hard disks that don’t ever go bad, it may be quite some time before we come up with technology that makes that possible.

Overall, NASA is an organization that is dedicated to utilizing the available technology to gain the best results. This includes utilizing state-of-the-art drives to save their data, despite the fact that the drives may go bad. That is where data recovery experts come in. With dedicated methods to retrieve data from both SSD’s and HDD’s these companies provide a useful service. It is true that data recovery from an SSD is far more difficult than from an HDD, but skilled recovery experts are able to get to even the most difficult data and extract it in a usable form. Everyone needs, data recovery, even NASA.