The Cray supercomputer located at Sandia National Laboratory, Red Storm, assisted the Navy in shooting down a rogue satellite. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s [NNSA] involvement was previously kept confidential. Red Storm was fully utilized for the project for roughly two months. All 26,569 processors were tasked with simulating, assessing and planning the complex mission to shoot down the errant satellite.
The satellite in question failed shortly after its launch in 2006 and began to reenter Earth’s atmosphere. The work on Red Storm helped to answer many of the important safety questions associated with the mission. Questions such as: what altitude to hit the satellite, how to hit it to minimize the spread of debris [including the hazardous fuel], and the best method to destory it in a single shot.
For more info on Red Storm’s involvement, read the full article here.