Nasa clears the runway for open source software
The NASA Open Government Initiative has launched a new website to expand the agencys open source software development.
Open source development, which invites the public access to view and improve software source code, is transforming the way software is created, improved and used. NASA uses open source code to address project and mission needs, accelerate software development and maximize public awareness and impact of research.
In 2009, the White House issued the Open Government Directive, which requires federal agencies to take specific steps to achieve milestones that are transparent. NASA's Open Government Plan has been recognized as one of the best. NASA was among several federal agencies recognized with two leading practices awards from the White House for achievement above and beyond the requirements in the "Participation and Collaboration" and "Flagship Initiatives" categories of the Open Government Directive.
"The site represents a natural extension of NASA's efforts to inform, educate and include the public in our mission to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research," said Deborah Diaz, NASA's Deputy Chief Information Officer. "Citizen involvement in our work is a critical component of our success."
NASA Open Government launched the new site as part of its Open Source Software Flagship Initiative with the goal showcasing existing projects, providing a forum for discussion, and guiding internal and external groups in open development, release and contribution.
"We released the site on Jan. 4 and since have received an overwhelming response from people interested in using our code," said Nick Skytland, Program Manager of NASA's Open Government Initiative. "Our goal is to provide the public direct and ongoing access to NASA technology."
"We believe tomorrow's space and science systems will be built in the open, and that code.nasa.gov will play a big part in getting us there," said William Eshagh, NASA Open Government co-lead on the project at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.