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NASA Government Open Source

NASA To Catalog and Release Source Code For Over 1,000 Projects 46

An anonymous reader writes "By the end of next week, NASA will release a master catalog of over 1,000 software projects it has conducted over the years and will provide instructions on how the public can obtain copies of the source code. NASA's goal is to eventually 'host the actual software code in its own online repository, a kind of GitHub for astronauts.' This follows NASA's release of the code running the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer a few years back. Scientists not affiliated with NASA have already adapted some of NASA's software. 'In 2005, marine biologists adapted the Hubble Space Telescope's star-mapping algorithm to track and identify endangered whale sharks. That software has now been adapted to track polar bears in the arctic and sunfish in the Galapagos Islands.' The Hubble Space Telescope's scheduling software has reportedly also been used to schedule MRIs at hospitals and as control algorithms for online dating services. The possibilities could be endless."
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NASA To Catalog and Release Source Code For Over 1,000 Projects

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  • Re:Wait... What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday April 04, 2014 @10:10AM (#46660481)

    Code works... User Expectation Changes.

    COBOL code still works. However people don't want to use it in a terminal/terminal emulator. They want it on a Web Page, or at least via GUI screens. Being that these screens now have a resolution of at least 1024x768 (Usually much higher) vs 640x200 displayed in text of 80x25 people will want to see more data per screen, charts and graphs next to their data.
    We use to have positions called Data Entry and Computer Operators. Who's job was just to punch in data from one system to the next and people who use the software, who are trained not to cause it to crash. Today we get data from many feeds, and the system needs to be crash proof.
    Your New Device has a new set of User Inputs and Outputs that the OS needs to handle. Multi-Touch screens, Multible displays, Cameras, motion sensors, GPS... which could offer an advantage if implemented.

    We look back at the old computers and we go wow how cool were they, they seem to do the same job as today's computers did but with 1/100th the performance. But what has changed is the software had gradually did more work, that you use to do by hand. Plus they are a heck a lot more reliable then they were 20+ years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2014 @10:32AM (#46660685)

    I *wish* NASA had released the AGC source code. I run the project providing the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer Code (and other Apollo missions as well) which is linked in the summary, and I can assure you that none of that code was released by NASA, provided by NASA, nor was made available through NASA's assistance. You can thank some dedicated private citizens for the availability of that source code.

    -- Ron Burkey

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.