NASA gives away code, gets funding for habitation module and James Webb Telescope progress

ISS_Flight_Control_Room_2006Wanna build a rocket? NASA’s about to give away a mountain of its code

Next Thursday, NASA will release a master list of software projects it has cooked up over the years. This is more than just stuff that runs on a personal computer. Think robots and cryogenic systems and climate simulators. There’s even code for running rocket guidance systems.

This NASA software catalog will list more than 1,000 projects, and it will show you how to actually obtain the code you want. The idea to help hackers and entrepreneurs push these ideas in new directions — and help them dream up new ideas. Some code is only available to certain people — the rocket guidance system, for instance — but if you can get it, you can use it without paying royalties or copyright fees. Within a few weeks of publishing the list, NASA says, it will also offer a searchable database of projects, and then, by next year, it will host the actual software code in its own online repository, a kind of GitHub for astronauts.

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Spending Bill to accelerate NASA habitation module work

An omnibus spending bill passed by Congress this month directs NASA to accelerate work on a habitation module that could be used for future deep space missions, although how NASA will implement that direction is unclear.

The report accompanying the fiscal year 2016 omnibus appropriations bill instructs NASA to spend at least $55 million on a “habitation augmentation module” to support the agency’s exploration efforts. The money would come from the Advanced Exploration Systems program, part of the Exploration Research and Development line item in the budget that received $350 million in the bill.

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James Webb Space Telescope mirror halfway complete

8-jameswebbspaInside NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s massive clean room in Greenbelt, Maryland, the ninth flight mirror was installed onto the telescope structure with a robotic arm. This marks the halfway completion point for the James Webb Space Telescope’s segmented primary mirror.

The James Webb Space Telescope team has been working tirelessly to install all 18 of Webb’s mirror segments onto the telescope structure.

“The years of planning and practicing is really paying dividends and the progress is really rewarding for everyone to see,” said NASA’s Optical Telescope Element Manager Lee Feinberg.

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Job opening for a Product Support Engineer II, Bell Helicopter (Singapore). Bell Helicopter is seeking a passionate aerospace engineering technician with extensive technical and business expertise to provide customers with world-class after-delivery support. More information


Build up your space resume by participating in the project Astro Pi: devise computer science experiments to be run on board the ISS. There will be opportunities to examine the results of the winning competition experiments, and there will also be a data analysis activity where you can obtain a CSV file full of time-stamped sensor readings directly from Tim Peake. More information

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