It contains software from all the agency’s centres on data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion and aeronautics and includes many of the tools NASA uses to explore space.
NASA is also one of only two research bodies recognised by the United Nations to publish first-generation data on climate change.
Each catalogue entry is accompanied with a plain language description of what it does.
“The software catalog 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) in Washington, USA.
“Access to these software codes has the potential to generate tangible benefits that create jobs, earn revenue and save lives.”
Some of the software available include codes for more advanced drones, and quieter aircraft. While access restrictions apply to some codes, NASA has automated and updated its software release process over the last two years to ensure that it is as quick, easy and straightforward as possible.
The software catalog is a product of NASA’s Technology Transfer program, managed for the agency by STMD. The program ensures technologies developed for missions in exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public, maximizing the benefit to the nation.
What a great way to – literally – sprinkle (taxpayer-paid) seed capital into the private sector.
Wouldn’t it be great if this kind of initiative was to happen in the UK (but don’t hold your breath)?