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Massively Parallel Processor Unit


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Massively Parallel Processor Unit

Collection Item Summary:

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 comptuer derives it name 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 operate on one or at most a few pieces of data per cycle. One intended application for such a design was the analysis of the large amounts of data received by remote sensing satelliltes.

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 1996.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center


  • Case: sheet steel cabinet, blue
  • Circuit boards: epoxy resin printed circuit boards
  • Circuits: silicon integrated circuits


3-D: 111.8 x 71.1 x 200.7cm (44 x 28 x 79 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


INSTRUMENTS-Computers, General Purpose

Inventory Number


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