New catalog brings NASA software down to Earth

From the rudimentary but effective Apollo Guidance and Navigation System that landed the first humans on the lunar landscape to the code used to manage robotic missions to explore other planets, software has always been at the core of NASA’s mission successes.

When NASA develops this software, we know the code may have uses beyond the original mission.

One of our missions is to ensure that the technologies we create for aeronautics and space missions, including software, have the opportunity to be turned into new products and processes that can benefit the lives of people on Earth. Technology transfer allows us to offer added value to taxpayer investment in cutting edge research and development.

Much of this NASA-developed code will be available for public use through a new software catalog starting April 10.

With over 1,000 codes organized into fifteen broad subject matter categories, the new software catalog offers a large portfolio of software products for a wide variety of applications. These codes represent NASA’s best solutions to a wide array of complex mission requirements.

“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. “We are excited to be able to make that software widely available to the public with the release of our software catalog.”

The technologies featured in the software catalog cover project management systems, design tools, data handling, and image processing, as well as solutions for life support functions, aeronautics, structural analysis, and robotic and autonomous systems.

Each NASA code is available at no cost and has been evaluated for access restrictions and designated for a specific type of release, ranging from codes that are open to all US citizens to codes that are restricted to access by other federal agencies.

“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.”

NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, managed by the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters, ensures that technologies developed for missions in exploration and discovery are broadly available to the public. For more information on NASA’s Tech Transfer program, visit: