NASA launches second software catalog

NASA launches second software catalog

NASA released its second annual Software Catalog, making the advanced engineering and aeronautics code it uses freely available to other government agencies and businesses.

These programs were created by NASA to control of the Hubble Telescope, maneuver land rovers on other planets and to enable safe launch and landing operations, but have been used to help businesses create jobs, track endangered species and create algorithms that match people on online dating sites – all using ready-made coding tools rather than buying or building their own.

NASA released its first catalog last year to comply with the 2011 Presidential Memorandum on accelerating the commercialization of federal research in support of high-growth businesses. At that time President Barack Obama pushed federal agencies to discover new methods to increase the efficiency and economic impact of their technology transfer activities.

In support of the president’s initiative, NASA is now beginning to update software release procedures, automating processes, managing workflow with process-based metrics, and building the infrastructure necessary to understand the agency’s available assets. And as the commercial space industry grows, NASA hopes new companies will benefit from its safety protocols, guidance and navigation codes.

The first software catalog was downloaded over 100,000 times and has received millions of views on its website. To date NASA is the only agency to release a comprehensive set of software tools.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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