This is part of an experimental computer, developed in the mid 1980s by the Goodyear Aerospace Corporation for the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The computer's name derives from its ability to operate on large arrays of data in parallel (i.e. on many numbers at once). By contrast, computers of conventional design perforn operations on one or at most a few pieces of data per cycle. One intended use for such a computer was the analysis of large amounts of data from remote sensing satellites.
The Massively Parallel Processor represented one of several approaches to the problem of processing data in parallel. Nearly all modern supercomputers use parallel processing, although not all follow this machine's architecture.
Transferred from NASA to the Museum in 1995.
Transferred from NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center