Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chooses Bright Computing to Help get Perseverance and Ingenuity to Mars


JPL Utilizes Bright Cluster Manager to Manage New Cluster Responsible for Crucial Trajectory and Landing Calculations for Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission

By Bright Staff | Jun 8, 2021 5:00:00 AM |



San Jose, CA – June 8, 2021 – Bright Computing, a global leader in automation and management software for edge-to-core-to-cloud high-performance computing, today announced that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) selected Bright Cluster Manager to manage the research and development lab’s newest clustered environment. This environment was deployed in late 2019 and became fully operational in January of 2020. JPL utilized this environment’s new capabilities to perform crucial trajectory calculations and entry descent landing calculations for the recent Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission. This mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet that will address high-priority science goals while answering key Astrobiology questions about potential life on Mars.

Bright Cluster Manager provides comprehensive management of the entire clustered environment, enabling JPL to control its HPC resources as a single entity―even as resources span two separate locations. With Bright Cluster Manager, JPL leverages a flexible platform that enables users to deploy complete clusters over bare metal and manage them reliably from edge-to-core-to-cloud. Bright Cluster Manager provides JPL with a flexible cluster management platform that enables our customers to seamlessly leverage the latest in HPC technology, reduce demand on existing personnel resources, increase workload efficiency, and manage resource diversity across all domains of their science and engineering users.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL is a federally funded research and development center that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions for NASA. In response to a need for expanded HPC capabilities, JPL decommissioned their existing environment, which consisted of 3 separate clusters of varying ages, and built a state-of-the-art clustered environment with infrastructure in Pasadena as well as a satellite location in Las Vegas. Each location is home to 48 compute nodes with 48 cores per node―totaling 96 nodes and 4,608 cores. The two systems are managed by Bright Cluster Manager and connected by Bright Edge, which is a feature of Bright Cluster Manager that allows organizations to deploy, and centrally manage, computing resources in distributed locations as a single clustered infrastructure from a single interface.

JPL utilizes the clustered environment for a variety of workloads, including basic science research, COVID-19-related biology research, as well as high-end engineering research (mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, radiative transfer calculations, radiation analysis, etc.). During the recent Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission, JPL leveraged the new environment to produce trajectory correction calculations and entry, descent and landing calculations for the spacecraft carrying the Mars rover, Perseverance, and the small robotic helicopter, Ingenuity. In this use case, they leveraged Bright Edge to process flight trajectory and landing calculations at each location. Spacecraft telemetry data was plugged into their models and used to monitor where the spacecraft was in reference to their trajectory flight path model. This data was used to determine trajectory correction maneuvers, or course corrections, so that the spacecraft would maintain an ideal flight path on its way to Mars. During the months-long flight time, JPL’s environment was responsible for supporting trajectory correction and entry descent and landing calculations that proved critical to the mission’s success.

With the flexibility and ease of use provided by Bright Cluster Manager, JPL has access to a cluster management platform that would enable them to manage the growth of this environment with their current personnel. This inherent flexibility meshes well with JPL’s roadmap, one that includes frequent hardware refreshes over the next decade. Bright Cluster Manager’s vendor agnostic platform will keep up with new hardware, support continued growth, and easily manage a continuous operation of the latest HPC services in current and future iterations of the environment.

Moving forward, JPL will be involved in nearly 30 missions over the next decade that will all be supported by their current environment. In choosing this new system’s components, JPL knew they needed to be forward thinking with the software service that would support new iterations of their environment. Bright Computing will now support JPL in that growth and expansion, eliminating the complexity they experienced with old systems and enabling flexibility as they pave the way for future research.

“In choosing Bright Cluster Manager to underpin their cluster infrastructure, JPL can deploy, manage, and monitor their clusters quickly and efficiently, and keep them running reliably throughout their usable lifecycles,” said Dan Kuczkowski, Sr. Vice President of Sales at Bright Computing. “We are thrilled to be working with JPL, and we are excited to support their continued research of the past life on Mars and future space exploration.”

For more information about Bright Computing Bright Cluster Manager, visit us at or email us directly and


About JPL

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a unique national research facility that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. JPL helped open the Space Age by developing the first Earth-orbiting science satellite, creating the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sending robotic missions to study all the planets in the solar system as well as asteroids, comets and Earth’s moon. In addition to its missions, JPL developed and manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft. JPL is a federally funded research and development center managed for NASA by Caltech.

About Bright Computing

Bright Computing software helps organizations manage complex, distributed computing environments that combine on-premises systems with public cloud and edge computing to unlock the potential of real-time machine learning for their business. Designed with platform independence in mind, Bright Computing’s automation software supports modern GPU-accelerated systems and reduced-power Arm-based architectures in conjunction with traditional x86-based systems, maximizing flexibility and eliminating complexity. Trusted by industry leaders of the Fortune 500 and leading data center equipment manufacturers to automate building and managing distributed high-performance clusters, Bright Computing enables enterprises to quickly and efficiently establish AI-ready and IoT-ready infrastructure to support their digital transformation.