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Could NASA Software Benefit You or Your Company?



NASA has made some amazingly advanced software for our space missions, from launching rockets to the International Space Station to landing rovers on Mars. But a lot of that software can be applied to other situations here on the ground. We’ve got hundreds of downloadable programs in the NASA Software Catalog available for public use—and they’re all free.

We’ve rounded up four interesting software programs to get your search started.


Orbital Debris Engineering Model

Earth’s atmosphere is filled with junk. Space debris can cause damage to spacecraft and satellites. That’s where the Orbital Debris Engineering Model program comes in. Thanks to this NASA software, we can study the risks of debris impact to help us protect our orbiting equipment and – more importantly – our planet. Communication companies could use this software to prevent debris damage when launching satellites, saving them a lot of time and money. 

Hierarchical Image Segmentation

It’s hard to take a perfect picture from space. That’s why our scientists created theHierarchical Image Segmentation software program – to help us enhance and analyze images taken of Earth from space by the Landsat and Terra missions. But, that isn’t all it can do. Doctors have used the software to analyze medical images, such as X-rays, ultrasounds and mammography images, to reveal important details previously unseen by the human eye. 

Distributed Observer Network

Installing sensitive spaceflight hardware is hardly a time for fun and games. Except when it comes to the Distributed Observer Network, or DON 3.1. This software combines innovative NASA tools with video game technology to train our employees for stressful tasks – like maneuvering delicate tools through tight spots when building spacecraft. DON can be used in many other industries, particularly for overcoming the challenges that face virtual teams working on complex problems. 

Schedule Test and Assessment Tool

Do you manage complex projects at work? There are a lot of steps and moving pieces in play when it comes to getting a spacecraft from the launchpad into space. Used during the space shuttle missions, the Schedule Test and Assessment Tool 5.0 add-on works with Microsoft Project to automate project data to help us stay on track. It’s one of the more popular programs in our software catalog because it provides quick, clear assessment info that can help with decision making.