In 2012 NASA unplugged its last mainframe. Then CIO Linda Cureton wrote: This month marks the end of an era in NASA computing. Marshall Space Flight Center powered down NASA's last mainframe, the IBM Z9 Mainframe. For my millennial readers, I suppose that I should define what a mainframe is. Well, that's easier said than done, but here goes -- It's a big computer that is known for being reliable, highly available, secure, and powerful. They are best suited for applications that are more transaction oriented and require a lot of input/output - that is, writing or reading from data storage devices.