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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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  • flight simulators converted to video games?
  • GitLab is a thing [], if you want your own GitHub stop building it from scratch and just use the real thing.

  • 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

    • Aren't guidance programs for rockets considered a security risk?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Aren't guidance programs for rockets considered a security risk?

        Perhaps, but the Apollo Guidance Computer that was mentioned in the links didn't guide the rocket (in spite of the name). The AGC was used only in the Command Module and Lunar Modules. The Saturn rocket was controlled by a different computer (the so-called LVDC), for which the source-code is not presently known -- by me, at least -- and therefore is assumed permanently missing. I'd love to be proved wrong (about it being missing), however. At any rate, even if it was a security problem once upon a time,

    • by Indigo ( 2453 )

      Agreed 100%. Ron and his fellow volunteers have worked on this for several years, not only transcribing the Apollo Command Module and Lunar Module flight software from paper listings, but also writing the toolchains and simulators with which to build and run it. And not only for Apollo, but also for the Saturn IB and V rockets, the Gemini spacecraft, and probably other things I haven't found yet. There are lucid explanations of everything, and original project documentation as well. The site is a treasure t

  • by fygment ( 444210 ) on Friday April 04, 2014 @10:46AM (#46660785)

    TFA contains links to Wired articles. Couldn't find a link to a NASA catalogue so TFA is a 'heads up' of what is to come, yes?

    Here's the link to the DARPA catalogue: []

  • That would be very interesting.
  • What little that is not FORTRAN is in PL-1 There are a few assembly language code using fixed point arithmetic. And the only comment in the entire code base is # RIP JSB
  • I predict that some military-general-turned-politician will start complaining about national security risks and taxpayer money being wasted (on something other than the military) and the project will suddenly find itself behind a security-clearance-only paywall.

  • So, can we figure out why that Mars mission failed? And if so, maybe we should release the code ahead of time so people can help look for bugs.
  • It would be very cool to see the source code for the Space Shuttle. Its retired now so releasing it shouldn't have any operational impacts on the shuttle itself and I doubt the Chinese or the North Koreans or the Iranians are interested in building their own shuttle (and certainly not one using a hardware architecture developed in the 1970s reverse engineered from a source code release)

  • Did that include Voyagers command software?

    After all, VGER's command and communication software could be essential.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?