re: IBM Plans Exascale System For SKA Space Telescope
You have to keep in mind that when the systems that flew aboard the Shuttle WERE state of the art during the design and integration phase of building the Shuttles. Sure, they became antiquated, but then again... when the last Shuttle flew last year, the basic design was just shy of 40 years old. When was the last time that your life depended on a nearly 40 year old computer getting things absolutely perfect 100% of the time?
Then there's also the term "Man Rated" that comes into play here.
As far as hiring a team a year before the project goes live and asking them to engineer, integrate and test a system to handle this application is borderline on madness.
Personally, I think it's going to be very interesting to watch what the innovation that this project leads to.