Technology from Planet Earth to Other Worlds

Social Responsibility

Laura Forczyk

We hear about discovering new planets around other stars, observing supernova, simulating black holes, landing astronauts on the Moon, launching satellites, living on space stations, and sending rovers (and someday people) to other planets. Scientists imagine the missions and process the data, engineers build the vehicles and instruments, and astronauts get all the glory. But software is the hidden enabler of the exploration of the Universe. From the earliest computers of the 1950s to the advanced tools of today, code has been the foundation which with scientists, engineers, and astronauts leave this world to explore space. I’ll give an overview of the history of software development in space exploration, showcase NASA’s database of open source software products, and inspire the next-generation space coder to look beyond our planet for her future.