Tuesday, September 26, 2017

NASA Just Released A Bunch Of Software For Anyone To Download For Free

How many of us have ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Of blasting beyond the atmosphere, feeling gravity slip away, roaming among the stars, and looking down on the perfect blue Earth beneath you? Well, believe it or not, NASA wants us to dream like that. They want us dreaming big. And they're giving us the tools to succeed. 

You can't say the geniuses at NASA don't love to inspire the rest of us. And just to help us achieve our dreams, they've released their 2017-2018 software catalog, chock full of apps and codes and tools anyone can download and use for free.

Mind you, the things NASA spends time coding might not apply for the rest of us. Space flight tends to be a niche pursuit. But there are also plenty of programs in the catalog that might have some surprising overlap with the tinkering projects we're working on. Or they might just be fun to play around with. 

Drone enthusiasts might not be launching rockets anytime soon, but there are some NASA programs that could apply all the same.

There's the Video Image Stabilization and Registration program, for example, that helps smooth out distortion in video when it's caused by motion. There's also a Formation Flying System for UAVs and Satellites, just in case you want to make your own drone-based halftime show for the 4th of July. If you weren't planning one before, maybe you are now!

One of the more fun things to play around with will be the Worldview Satellite Imagery Browsing and Downloading Tool.

You can use it to scan through NASA satellite images taken as recently as four hours earlier. How awesome is that? There are other more Earthly matters in the catalog as well, including some of the tools they use for hiring and assessment, like the Fine Motor Skills iPad test.

You can also get in touch with NASA's history with an iPad app called Glenn Research Center: The Early Years, keep an eye on what the sun's up to with the Space Weather app for Android, or simulate EVAs taken by astronauts in the Unity-based Spacewalk game.

In short, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to use NASA's software, but it might help.


Author: verified_user