You don't have to be an astronaut to access NASA software. The agency recently released to the public an online software catalog of over 1,000 code descriptions related to guidance systems, robotics, aeronautics, climate simulators, biological sensors, design tools, and more.
"From the rudimentary but effective Apollo Guidance and Navigation System that landed the first humans on the lunar landscape to the 500,000 lines of code used to put the Mars Curiosity Rover on the surface of the Red Planet, software has always been at the core of NASA's mission successes," Technology Transfer Program Executive Daniel Lockney says in the catalog introduction.
The codes are all free, but have varying levels of access restrictions. Some are open to all US citizens, while others are restricted to use by other federal agencies. Some are available to people outside the US, and some are open-source.
This means that depending on your security clearance, you could have access to project information on everything from global positioning systems to cryogenics.
The catalog is broken down into 15 broad categories, including system testing; propulsion; electronics and electrical power; environmental science; design and integration tools; crew and life support; and autonomous systems.
"As you review the products featured in the software catalog, perhaps you will find that NASA has developed a solution that is applicable to one of your own design challenges and decide to acquire or license it," Lockney said.
"If so, you will be helping us fulfill our mission of bringing NASA technology down to Earth."
You can request access to specific software from different NASA centers with the provided contact information. The NASA Software Catalog is continually updated; visit the NASA Technology Transfer Portal for the latest updates and revisions.