"When Boeing successfully launched its Delta IV rocket last
month, there was more riding on the event than the $1 billion
telecommunications satellite attached to its tip. Also at stake was
Boeing's piece of the global launch-services market, a lucrative
business opportunity that could help offset some of the company's
losses in its commercial airplanes division, which has cut nearly
30,000 jobs since Sept. 11, 2001.
"Linux helped keep development costs for Delta IV low. Getting
the Delta IV from the launchpad into space required years of design
and computational fluid-dynamics testing to understand the impact
of flight on the rocket's structure and control system.
Aerodynamics engineers with Boeing's Expendable Launch Systems
division in Huntington Beach, Calif., used a 96-node cluster of PCs
with Advanced Micro Devices 850-MHz Athlon processors running Red
Hat Linux, rather than a $500,000 supercomputer, to keep costs low
in pursuit of its goal. Linux cluster-management company Linux
Networx helped to develop the environment..."