Building your own rocket or robot? NASA has code for you

Building your own rocket or robot? NASA has code for you

Space agency to release NASA-built code for 1,000 different projects for free


Ever wish you could get your hands on the software that NASA used to launch its Apollo lunar missions or to get robots working on Mars?

Thinks this code could help you build software for your own project or company? If so, NASA has something for you.

NASA will release code written for space exploration missions for free to the public starting Thursday. (Image: NASA)

The space agency announced that on Thursday it will make a catalog of NASA-developed code available to the public. More than 1,000 coding projects will be released in 15 categories, including project management systems, design tools, data handling and image processing. Code also will be released for life support systems, and robotic and autonomous systems.

"Software is an increasingly important element of the agency's intellectual asset portfolio, making up about a third of our reported inventions every year," said Jim Adams, NASA's deputy chief technologist, in a statement. "We are excited to be able to make that software widely available to the public with the release of our software catalog."

The software code is being released because NASA developers know that it would have uses beyond the missions for which it was originally developed.

What NASA calls technology transfer gives U.S. taxpayers more bang for their buck.

"NASA is committed to the principles of open government," said Adams. "By making NASA resources more accessible and usable by the public, we are encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Our technology transfer program is an important part of bringing the benefit of space exploration back to Earth for the benefit of all people."

The codes are being made available for free. Some are available for all U.S. citizens and others are restricted to other federal agencies.

This article, Building your own rocket or robot? NASA has code for you, was originally published at

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is

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Tags hardware systemsNASAApp DevelopmentEmerging TechnologiesGovernment/Industries


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