Falcon and Dragon spacecraft based on Linux with Development of C, Chromium and JS

The most significant event in the world of science in the last two days has been Musk’s SpaceX success in launching the Falcon 9 with the Crew Dragon and docking the spacecraft to the International Space Station, sending two NASA astronauts to an orbital outpost. Information behind the computers and software used by Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon has also attracted the attention of developers. Questions on related forums that existed many years ago have also been turned over.

Falcon and Dragon spacecraft based on Linux with Development of C, Chromium and JS

A self-proclaimed spaceX software development team says the Falcon 9 rocket has nothing to do with the C? The applications of Falcon and Dragon (this manned Crew Dragon previous generation) are coded using LabVIEW to develop GUI for mission and launch control for engineers and operators to monitor vehicle telemetry and command rocket, spacecraft, and pad support equipment.

LabVIEW (Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Platform), a laboratory virtual instrument engineering platform, is a program development environment developed by National Instruments (NI) company, similar to the C and BASIC development environments. LabVIEW uses the graphical editing language G to write programs, resulting in programs in the form of block diagrams.

The user also said that Dragon and Falcon 9 use the Linux operating system, and other users added that after communicating with the Dragon team in GDC 2016, falcon used a “triple redundancy” system, which, in simple terms, has three dual-core x86 processors, each running a Linux instance on each core. The flight software is written in C/C. For each calculation/decision, the “flight string” compares the results of the two cores, and if there is an inconsistency, the string is wrong and no commands are sent. If both cores return the same response, the string sends commands to various microcontrollers on the rocket that control things like engines.

The microcontroller running on the PowerPC processor receives three commands from three flight strings, and they act as judges to choose the right course of action. If all three strings are consistent, the microcontroller executes the command.

While the Crew Dragon flight interface is developed using Chromium and JavaScript, the actual flight computer is still running in C.