To Infinity And Beyond: NASA Gives Away Its Software For Free In Latest Release

Stallite surveillance space spy NSA © Paul Fleet Shutterstock

NASA’s free software catalogue includes applications related to operations, propulsion and aeronautics

NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalogue, providing both physical and digital copies of its portfolio of software products for a “wide variety of technical applications”.

But the best part? The entire catalogue is available to the public free of charge without any royalty or copyright fees, meaning Joe Bloggs down the road can finally get started on developing his own mission-critical space apps.

The catalogue includes many of the tools actually used by NASA during its space explorations, with a number of software packages being made available for the first time.


Space -bound

This is the third edition of the publication, which includes contributions from the agency’s centres on data processing and storage, business systems, operations, propulsion and aeronautics – among several others – with each entry accompanied by a plain language description to aid readers.

Access restrictions do apply to come codes, with some limited to the US for example, but there are several tools and apps that would interest casual users.

“The software catalogue is our way of supporting the innovation economy by granting access to tools used by today’s top aerospace professionals to entrepreneurs, small businesses, academia and industry,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).

“Access to these software codes has the potential to generate tangible benefits that create jobs, earn revenue and save lives.”

NASA software

Since the release of its first software catalogue in April 2014, which became the first comprehensive software listing to be compiled by a federal government agency, NASA has shared thousands of programmes with students, businesses and other government agencies

“Software has been a critical component of each of NASA’s mission successes and scientific discoveries. In fact, more than 30 percent of all reported NASA innovations are software,” said Dan Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer program executive. “We’re pleased to transfer these tools to other sectors and excited at the prospect of seeing them implemented in new and creative ways.”

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