SQLite Forum

SQLite database in space?

SQLite databases in space?

(1.1) By Simon Willison (simonw) on 2021-02-19 22:30:11 edited from 1.0 [link]

Just a fun question that popped into my head today: does anyone know if there are any SQLite databases running in space?

On the ISS, in satellites or even somewhere further afield?

Apparently NASA have shipped PostgreSQL into lower earth orbit (according to a  [tip on Twitter](https://twitter.com/davidfetter/status/1362887068737658880))

(2) By RandomCoder on 2021-02-19 23:07:01 in reply to 1.1 [link]

Don't know a real answer to the question, but I have seen some video of an ISS astronaut using an iPad, so in a very literal sense, there is a SQLite database on the ISS, on that iPad if nothing else.

(3) By Scott Perry (numist) on 2021-02-20 17:44:22 in reply to 2 [link]

I first learned about that iPad via a bug report in 2019—there was an intermittently reproducible issue with resuming software update downloads after a network interruption, especially ones like the ISS's uplink handoff between satellites during its orbit.

(4) By ingo on 2021-02-20 22:02:08 in reply to 1.1 [link]

I remember POV-Ray was in space, http://www.povray.org/posters/ They build a special 'stop go stop go' feature in it to throttle the rendering. Getting rid of heat from the processor is a problem. Can imagine such problems happen with the iPad, unless modified.

(5) By Simon Slavin (slavin) on 2021-02-21 13:06:31 in reply to 1.1 [link]

Numerous satellites run stripped-down versions of Linux.  A lot of those include, and actually use, SQLite.  For instance, Kubos: <https://www.kubos.com>.

At least one mapping satellite uses SQLite to store georeferencing data about what it should be doing between now and the next set of instructions.  An employee of the company that runs it posted a question on another forum about whether there was a library for manipulating earth-surface coordinates.  Sorry, but the poster didn't want to identify the company they worked from.

SQLite is used in the flight software for the Airbus 350 XWB family of aircraft.

I would be very surprised if the entire ISS support and maintenance system ran without using SQLite somewhere in space.

I've seen a photo of an iPad used on a submarine, though just because it was a personal possession, not anything to do with running the submarine or whatever its mission was.

Since we're covering unusual uses of SQLite …

SQLite is an integral part of some malware, merely as a fast compact way of looking up data ranges.  For instance, Hornbill: <https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/pro-india-malware-used-to-spy-on-pakistani-military-nuclear-agencies-44217>.  Flame, a malware spy program that spies on computers and their users, includes SQLite libraries though I don't know what it uses them for.  To balance the matter, McAfee uses SQLite databases to store virus signatures and some other things.

(6) By David Raymond (dvdraymond) on 2021-02-22 13:57:07 in reply to 1.1 [link]

In the first minute of the opening introduction for this YouTube video of a CMU lecture by Dr Hipp it's mentions that it's used in space, and includes Dr Hipp saying he didn't know it was in space at the time :)

[D. Richard Hipp - SQLite [The Databaseology Lectures - CMU Fall 2015]](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpxnbly9bz4)

(7) By Simon Slavin (slavin) on 2021-04-28 21:42:29 in reply to 1.1

There are a number of industry-standard laptops on the ISS, so whether they're running Linux, Windows or macOS, SQLite is in them.  But I don't know if it's being used for space/research purposes.  There was some publicity that Norton Anti-Virus (which uses SQLite) has been run on a computer on the shuttle.

I stumbled across a NASA search engine while looking for something else and tried 'sqlite' in it:


Numerous hits, of course.  Nothing mentioning Perseverance, but some suggestion that SQLite is in use off earth in storing experimental results.  And SQLite is definitely used on earth for various NASA testing systems.

So SQLite is definitely in orbit, but perhaps not on any other planet.

(8) By rayB on 2021-04-28 23:47:05 in reply to 7 [link]


(10) By Gerry Snyder (GSnyder) on 2021-05-01 00:30:24 in reply to 7 [link]

Does linux necessarily include SQLite? 

If so, then "The Ingenuity helicopter runs an embedded Linux distribution on its navigation computer" (from https://github.com/readme/nasa-ingenuity-helicopter ) would imply SQLite is on Mars.

(11) By Keith Medcalf (kmedcalf) on 2021-05-01 01:25:32 in reply to 10 [link]

Linux (as in the Linux kernel) does not include SQLite3.

Application programs which run on the Linux Kernel may, however, use SQLite3.

(9) By ThanksRyan on 2021-04-29 02:15:30 in reply to 1.1 [link]

Well we know it's on some type of aircraft, and aircraft are in a kind of space...30,000+ feet above sea level.