Questions tagged [software]

Questions regarding computer programs used in space exploration.

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What is this block of long, skinny rectangles in this New Horizons trajectory/operations simulation?

This answer to What do all these vectors point to in this New Horizons trajectory/operations simulation? begins: The software is definitely AGI's STK (notice the font and the states at the left top ...
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How to generate TLEs based on a set of observation points (location, azimuth, elevation… no range)

I'm interested in generating a "corrected TLE1" based on observation data. I would have observed azimuth and elevation, site location, and time. All of those data fields are observed with ...
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Space missions that employed separate flight software development teams?

A recent question "Back up plan to use LOX-RP1 for Apollo mission" has an answer stating Another example is that some spacecraft have a backup flight software system written by a group of ...
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How does a command sent to a rocket or rover look like?

I think the answer is quite clear. Let's say when Mission Control decides to let Perseverence move forward for 3 seconds with a speed of 10 (whatever..) What syntax would this command have? Im ...
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How much space could be freed up on New Horizons “once the spacecraft's flyby software is no longer needed”?

A comment below New Horizons current mission links to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory page 2019 Onward which includes the following: It is possible that another flyby target ...
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“New Horizons' capabilities augmented by uploading new observing and onboard data-reduction software.” How? What augmentations are begin considered?

A comment below New Horizons current mission links to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory page 2019 Onward which includes the following: It is possible that another flyby target ...
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GMAT compilation does not generate gui

I am compiling GMAT 2020a on opensuse linux from source code downloaded from sourceforge. I have gotten the compilation completed. Ran ok, except the /bin ...
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Aerospike calculator software doesn't seem to altitude-compensate - am I misunderstanding aerospikes?

I'm using mvernacc's Aerospike Nozzle Design GUI, which is supposed to be able to design and predict the performance of aerospike rocket engines. The workings of the software are apparently based on ...
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Working in space/aerospace as a software engineer without a related degree?

I'm looking to change careers. Currently I work in infection prevention and control and some clinical auditing. This past year has been reflective for me as I'm sure it has for many people and I ...
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212 views

GMAT - Locating inter-spacecraft contact instead of spacecraft to ground station

GMAT implements two "event locators" that find eclipse times and line of sight intervals. However, this only lets you analyse data between a ground station and a spacecraft. Is there a way ...
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462 views

Software to view flight path of rockets

What software could a hobbyist use to visualise the flight path of a rocket from launch to some arbitrary time after launch? I imagine this software might draw the path over a globe. Additionally, if ...
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1answer
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Are there Starlink train-finding websites?

In Astronomy SE Line of lights moving in a straight line, with a few following is the canonical close as duplicate target for questions about the likely seeing of recently deployed Starlinks that move ...
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Tools for low-thrust trajectory optimization

I'm performing a transfer between Near-Earth orbits considering J2 perturbation with the low-thrust engine. Orbital parameters: ...
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212 views

Taking custom software or hardware to the ISS

Before departing to the ISS, astronauts are allowed to pack some personal objects to be taken with them (see other question about packing). What if an astronaut had some self-written software (for ...
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What operating systems do Chinese satellites use?

Which operating systems are most frequently used by China for satellites?
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535 views

What is a “flight string”?

This answer explains what software powers the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The flight software is written in C/C++ and runs in the x86 environment. For each calculation/decision, the "flight string&...
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282 views

STK - Create a scanning sensor

I need a tool to create a scanning-type sensor. On STK you can only select a spinning-type sensor. I found one guy who made this sensor on STK but I don't know how. The information below the linked ...
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259 views

What programs did David Scott add to the Apollo computer for Apollo 15?

David Scott was the commander for Apollo 15. He was also a main point of contact between MIT, who developed the Apollo flight computer, and the astronauts who were going to use that computer. ...
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114 views

How are satellite operating modes implemented?

It is pretty simple to find documentation about satellite operating modes behaviour when trying to develop satellite onboard software (example of safe mode behaviour on wikipedia, or on researchgate), ...
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Challenges in using linux based COTS for Cubesat mission payloads

Most of the questions related to using linux is cubesat/space missions is for the flight computer. I understand that a RTOS is preferred over a full blown linux for a flight computer. However I am ...
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Why is the RTEMS Real-Time Operating System often used in European space industry?

I was wondering recently about RTEMS. Why is this Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) widely use in the European space industry among other suitable alternatives like freeRTOS or VxWorks? Is this RTOS ...
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1answer
81 views

How was DSCOVR “fixed” so that sufficiently dynamic attitude determination is gotten from star cameras?

The following from Space News indicate that a laser gyroscope failed and that software changes were developed and uploaded to the spacecraft bringing it back on line again recently: Software fix ...
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Are there any known space craft with software at risk from Y2K scenarios?

The Y2K scenario occurs, usually, with incremental counters (such as counting the seconds that pass with time). When you have a situation in which an incremental counter will infinitely increase, you ...
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How does one use the Surveillance Fence feature in keeptrack.space?

keeptrack.space was mentioned in What would be a “big picture” understanding of how the orbits of Earth satellites are monitored? but I haven't visited the site since. Running across this again today ...
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Interplanetary spacecraft flight operating system and programming language

Which programming languages and operating systems are mostly used for interplanetary satellites (such as a mission to the moon)? To my knowledge, I know some LEO CubeSats use C programming language ...
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Why does SpaceIL's Beresheet landing graphics show m\s instead of m/s?

I just noticed that the software displayed in the video of the landing had the velocity and acceleration units with a backslash (m\s) instead of the usual convention of a forward slash (m/s). Out of ...
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What was the first unplanned “over-the-air” software update of a spacecraft?

From time-to-time spacecraft have had to be rebooted, in one case Voyager 2 mutinied and had to be reprogrammed and in another Opportunity had it's memory "hacked". As far as I know, deep space ...
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Which CI/CD system do/would space companies like SpaceX use for continuous integration in their devops practice? [closed]

I wonder whether there are, or are recognizable in near future, industry specifics for CI/CD solutions in a space engineering company like SpaceX, compared to other companies where mass manufacturing ...
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Why are the poles of the Moon in Google Earth so different from other regions?

I am well aware of the fact that the poles of the Moon are different from the rest of the regions in many ways. But in Google Earth's Moon, the poles are so different from what we would see if we were ...
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1answer
119 views

Software projects for space systems [closed]

I am a software engineer with a strong grasp of python. I want to branch out and start working for space startups after I read there was a shortage of good software engineers working in the burgeoning ...
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347 views

STK Astrogator Earth Flyby

TLDR: How do you set up an EEV maneuver, specifically, how do you go from an earth orbit to a heliocentric orbit with a periapsis within Venus’s orbit in astrogator? I know the theory but astrogator ...
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554 views

Samples of old guidance software using computational resources on Earth implementing navigation in space

Answers to Given small computational resources how navigation was implemented ( Not Samples of old guidance software) are excellent. I was stunned to see an article mentioning 65KB was used to ...
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Given small computational resources, how was navigation implemented? (Not samples of old guidance software)

Update 2 : The youtube vidoe How did NASA Steer the Saturn V answers this question and then some, a must watch. Update: I really wanted to know how spacecraft navigation (not guidance) computers ...
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How has NASA's mission operations software architecture evolved?

As many of us know, the mission operations software of NASA has changed significantly over time. Needs have changed with the space program and mission operations software has adapted to keep up with ...
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Does NASA use any type of office/groupware software and which is that?

CERN for example uses MALT. What does NASA use where you need standard functions? https://malt.web.cern.ch/malt/global/malt-table/ Specifically with standard functions I mean what you would use in ...
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Does the Voyager team use a wrapper (Fortran(77?) to Python) to transmit current commands?

I assume that the vast majority of the people who created the software for these missions are now retired (the "space pensioners" of the Voyager mission). Here's a very good summary of the current ...
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What do these three historical IBM staff at NASA insignias designate?

The question Where are these historical IBM + Apollo related locations within NASA? What do these computers do? shows four images. Three of them show different IBM insignias on shirts of IBM staff. ...
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List of notable materials from 2017-2019 of software dev in the space industry

I was looking for relevant books about the development of software in space tech. I've had a hard time looking for recent information about software so I'll appreciate any tip -like key words, or ...
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What was the nature of the known bugs in the Space Shuttle software?

It's been claimed or suggested in other posts that during the entire history of the Space Shuttle, only one software bug actually survived the development and review process, making it to flight. ...
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What language is the Russian segment ISS software written in?

I have heard that the ISS uses a Russian coding language for some of the systems and subsystems on the Russian segment of the ISS. What is that coding language?
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What makes Ada the language of choice for the ISS's safety-critical systems?

We have it on good authority that Ada is widely used for "safety critical software" on at least the US side of the International Space Station. Of all the possible languages to choose from, what are ...
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What language is software running on the ISS written in?

What is the coding language used for the software used on the ISS? Is it NASA's own coding language, or is it something like C, or C#, maybe Haskell?
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What are the contributions of NASA in software engineering?

What are the contributions of NASA in the advancement of software engineering? What are the relevant standards that they have to comply with? I'm interested in avionics basically, but I don't find any ...
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1answer
193 views

What are the top most used satellite control system, flight dynamics solution at the moment ? Approx costs?

I am looking for a list of top most used satellite control systems, flight dynamics solutions by space agencies, private companies etc. the moment? How much do they cost approx for use by 1 person? Is ...
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Have any probes / spacecraft used GPU hardware? If so, what for?

I was reading this question about CPU's used in space and that got me thinking about the practical applications of GPUs for space-bound vessels. I'm wondering if we ever sent a radiation-hardened GPU ...
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235 views

Does Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter require “reprogramming” when handling communications for newer spacecraft or landers?

While I was going through the question What happens to Insight's parachute? I learned of the role of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to provide reliable communication between other Mars spacecraft and/...
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184 views

Software for orbital sketches

I am looking for recommendations on software that can create orbit sketches such as the image below. Adding an informative sketch to an article can help readers better understand the idea. I am ...
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Does a gravity model exist for satellites in LEO?

I'm wondering if there's a C-based (or similar language) program that will output the gravitational strength given input geodetic LEO coordinates (which I can convert to ECI etc. if needed). Ideally ...
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Does a solar geometry library exist for satellites in LEO?

I'm looking for a solar geometry library built for a cubesat in LEO. In my research so far, I've discovered the MINES Paris-Tech Solar Geometry 2 library (http://www.oie.mines-paristech.fr/...
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Has in-flight software changes ever involved a change of programming language?

Computer software is arguably the only component of an unmanned spacecraft that can be changed once the mission is already underway. Many spacecraft are now designed to accept new programs through ...