It's the end of a era now that NASA's ended the space shuttle program. The sort of technology needed to send man (and woman) into space must be more advanced than anything we use at home, right? Not exactly.
The Xbox 360 that you have set up next to your TV may be nearly six years old, but believe it or not, it's got more computational power than the computer aboard the space shuttle.
According to some space shuttle facts from the Huntsville Times, the Xbox 360 is more powerful than the flight computer – by a significant magnitude.
The flight computer aboard the space shuttle has less than one percent of the power of an Xbox 360 game console. Astronauts load programs directing the phases of a mission - liftoff, orbit, landing - into the computer one at a time after removing the program for the previous segment. Why hasn't NASA upgraded the computer? The agency values its 30-year history of reliability. That said, astronauts don't go into space with only one computer. Crew laptops and other laptops also make the trip.