NASA releases catalog offering free software for businesses

NASA flight engineer Roy Roper (left) reviews laptop displays showing ASTAR data with Boeing principal investigator Gabe Brewer during a ground simulation. (Boeing)

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NASA recently released a software catalog of publicly available software for entrepreneurs, small businesses, academics and industry officials for 2017-2018.

According to NASA, the catalog includes software and applications for business systems, data processing, propulsion, aeronautics and operations, some of which are being released for the first time. The software is provided free without royalty or copyright fees, officials added.

The software includes codes and applications used by NASA to research space and the universe with the hopes of encouraging business, product and research development by nongovernment entities.

NASA Technology Transfer program executive Dan Lockney called software “critical” to the administration, adding that more than 30 percent of all reported NASA innovations are software.

“We’re pleased to transfer these tools to other sectors and excited at the prospect of seeing them implemented in new and creative ways,” Lockney said.

This was echoed by NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk, who said this week that the software could generate revenue and create jobs.

“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,” Jurczyk said.

Released March 1, the catalog is a product of NASA’s Technology Transfer program, which makes publicly available technologies developed for exploration missions.

According to NASA, the program provides research opportunities through partnerships and licensing agreements with the industry.

Current software available includes codes for more advanced drones and quieter aircraft, the administration said in a news release.

Now in its third edition, the software catalog was first published in April 2014 as the first comprehensive listing of federal agency software provided to the public, NASA says. Over the past two years, NASA has automated the software release process to make the codes more easily accessible.

The catalog, available both in print and online, includes a plain language description with each entry. The software is browsable through 15 separate categories and is accessible through the NASA website.

Categories include structures and mechanisms, autonomous systems, and design and integration tools, among others.

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Dan Lockney, NASA, Steve Jurczyk, Technology Transfer Program
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