ISS astronaut finds NASA floppy disks in space

Remembers Windows 95? Maybe they'll find the ghost of Clippy on the International Space Station, too.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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Relics still exist on the International Space Station.

ESA/Alexander Gerst

The International Space Station just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and European Space Agency astronaut and current ISS resident Alexander Gerst discovered one small reminder of that long history: a folder full of old floppy disks.

In case you're too young to remember, floppy disks were once a major force in computer storage. Now they're an outdated symbol of computing nostalgia. Gerst tweeted a photo of his amusing find on Tuesday.

Gerst says he found a locker on the ISS that probably hadn't been opened for some time. One of the floppies is labeled as containing Norton Utilities for Windows 95/98. Some have NASA symbols on the labels.

A couple of the disks are titled "Crew Personal Support Data Disk" with the names Shep and Sergei on them. These were likely for NASA astronaut William Shepherd and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who were both part of the Expedition 1 crew in 2000.

The floppy-disk blast from the past is a fun reminder of the ISS's enduring legacy that now spans two decades. Technology has come a long way over that time, but relics still remain.

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