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How Are Laptops Used On The International Space Station?

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The formatting of the laptop depends on its assigned purpose. On the US segment, commanding to the vehicle is done using laptops called PCS (Portable Computer System). They run on a linux operating system and are connected to the vehicle 1553 system as remote terminals. There are usually seven PCS laptops deployed throughout the vehicle.

On the Russian Segment there are about seven equivalent laptops called, simply, “Russian Laptops”. They, too, are linux based, and are used to command the Russian elements. Both the PCS and Russian Laptop use their own graphical interfaces that depict the ISS and the crew click on the module they wish to interact with and the system, and then the specific piece of hardware.

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