TECH

NASA To Release Open-Source Software Library Including Rocket Guidance Systems

04/04/2014 11:39 | Updated 04 April 2014

Nasa will release a vast amount of code - including rocket guidance systems and climate simulators - for free next week, in an effort to help hackers dream up new ways to explore the universe.

The move follows a similar initiative in 2009 to provide free access to the code which ran systems on the Apollo 11 moon landings, and other open-source projects by US government agencies like Darpa.

But the new program is much larger, and will include software used in more than 1,000 varied projects.

It will also include a search engine so you can find exactly the code you want from its enormous stack of digital inventions.

According to Wired, the software catalogue will include code for running cryogenic systems, climate modelling, rocket guidance systems and more.

Not all of the code will be available to just anyone. The rocket systems code will be restricted to certain users, though it will still be free. Others could be restricted to US citizens. But Nasa said that it will eventually host the code in an easy-to-access repository and hopes that users will find ways to create new projects from the bones of its past achievements.

Examples of previous users of Nasa software include an innovative new polar bear tracker created with the code used by Hubble to track the stars or scheduling the use of MRI scanners at hospitals.

"Our design software has been used to make everything from guitars to roller coasters to Cadillacs," technology transfer program executive David Lockney said in an interview with Wired.

"Scheduling software that keeps the Hubble Space Telescope operations straight has been used for scheduling MRIs at busy hospitals and as control algorithms for online dating services."

Head over to Wired for more details and the full story on how the database came about.

NASA Real-life Images From Space
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS