This question is NOT about a fictional planet:
Background: why this might be true:
The science fiction work Dune was written by Frank Herbert and first published in 1965. It has had widespread acclaim, been followed by several more books in a series by the same author and has had several movie adaptations. Spice features prominently in it and is well known among SciFi geekdom, some of who are known to work at NASA and specifically JPL (e.g. "mostly harmless")
- How many different versions of cover art has Frank Herbert's Dune had since 1965? (about 21 for English, even more if other language printings are considered)
Evidence of Prior Research:
In 1982 The National Research Council's Committee on Data Management and Computation (CODMAC) issued a report [Ref 1] detailing problems with and providing recommendations for the archival treatment of data returned from NASA's Space Science Missions. Included in this report was an admonition to properly collect and archive the ancillary (engineering) information needed to fully and correctly interpret data returned from space science instruments.
In response to the CODMAC report NASA convened a Planetary Data Workshop [Ref. 2], chaired by Dr. Hugh Kieffer of the United States Geological Survey, Astrogeology Branch. Discussions by interested scientists at and subsequent to this meeting resulted in the concept-unnamed at that point-of carefully archiving the fundamental ancillary data sets that are needed to derive the viewing geometry parameters such as lighting angles and latitude/longitude typically needed in analyzing space science data.
In the months following the Workshop the concept was further articulated under the leadership of Dr. Kieffer. At that moment NASA Headquarters was forming a number of "pilot" space science data systems to implement the CODMAC recommendations. Associated with the Pilot Planetary Data System was an ancillary information system. The leader of this activity, Charles Acton, worked with Kieffer and the other scientists, and new staff members, to refine the ancillary information system concept. Kieffer coined the "SPICE" acronym to identify the major system components, and the SPICE system was born.
Question: Was the famous SPICE package of programs, utilities and data kernels named after "Melange", otherwise known as Spice, found on the fictional planet Arrakis from the Dune series of books by author Frank Herbert?