The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has created many computational innovations designed to support space exploration. NASA’s technology can also be used for important terrestrial purposes. The Administration's more recent software catalog has hundreds of popular programs, including over 180 new ones, all available to download for free.
"From operations here on Earth to missions to the Moon and Mars, the software is integral to all that NASA does. The good news is this technology is available to the public for free,” commented Bill Nelson, NASA administrator.
“The software suited for satellites, astronauts, engineers, and scientists as it is applied and adapted across industries and businesses is a testament to the extensive value NASA brings to the United States and the world,” added Nelson.
Some NASA programs incorporated and utilized by entrepreneurs, other government agencies, researchers and others include TetrUSS and WorldWind. TetrUSS is one of NASA’s most downloaded applications and enables users to improve designs for aircraft, automobiles and boats and gauge architectural aerodynamics and even assist in plane crash investigations.
WorldWind visualizes NASA data collected by satellites using a video game-like virtual globe of Earth. It allows users to zoom from satellite altitude down to any point on Earth’s surface. The software assists decision-makers worldwide manage scarce resources.
There are dozens of other environmental science software programs available for downloads, such as a tool that calculates a solar power system's size and power requirements using fuel cells, solar cells and batteries.
Another program offers coding to analyze solar aircraft concepts by evaluating flight worthiness and providing design feedback. There is also computational fluid dynamics software that improves the efficiency of wind turbines for power generation.
The NASA software catalog contains more than 800 programs with categories such as system testing, aeronautics, data and image processing and autonomous systems. The software is also continuously updated in a searchable repository online.
"In the race to mitigate the effects of human-made climate change, human-made technology can be a key advantage. By making our repository of software widely accessible, NASA helps entrepreneurs, business owners, academia, and other government agencies solve real problems,” stated Dan Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer Program executive.