From sophisticated robots to robots and cryogenic systems, your next mission could be amped up with a little help from your friends at NASA. NASA has released more than 1,000 of its computer codes free to the public through an open access software catalog, hoping to spur innovation inside and outside the space industry. The 15 categories include system testing, propulsion, electronics and electrical power, environmental science, design and integration tools, crew and life support and autonomous systems.
While the space agency makes amazing hardware such as rockets, telescopes and satellites, NASA has invented some state-of-the-art software over the years — from the primitive codes that guided the first astronauts to the moon to the codes that Earth-bound drivers of the Mars Curiosity rover write to get the robot to travel across the Red Planet.
“Software is an increasingly important element of the agency’s intellectual asset portfolio, making up about a third of our reported inventions every year,” Jim Adams stated, NASA’s deputy chief technologist, “We are excited to be able to make that software widely available to the public with the release of our software catalog.”
According to NASA officials, some of the codes will strictly be available federal agencies only because of access restrictions. However, most other codes are publicly available.
“NASA is committed to the principles of open government,” Adams added in a statement. “By making NASA resources more accessible and usable by the public, we are encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Our technology transfer program is an important part of bringing the benefit of space exploration back to Earth for the benefit of all people.”
In my personal opinion, I think resourceful and talented individuals and companies alike will bring major benefit to our current standard of technology as a society on the civilian level.