Questions tagged [software]

Questions regarding computer programs used in space exploration.

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Is RPOP available for download?

Is RPOP available for download? (the Rendezvous and Proximity Operations Program) I saw it from nasa live ,spacex use in crew-Dragon 2 when docking
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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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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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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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1answer
125 views

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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Is the software running on any existing or decommissioned space probes available for download?

I was wondering if it was possible to download the software that runs any of the computers on existing or decommissioned space probes, landers, etc. For example, could one download the software that ...
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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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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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Is there any compiler available for HAL/S?

The HAL/S programming language is used in the general purpose computers in the space shuttle. I have written a simple HAL/S program of my own. Is there any compiler available to turn it into ...
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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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459 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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15k views

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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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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1answer
317 views

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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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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650 views

Low Earth orbit propagation in GMAT

I'm propagating a Low Earth orbit using GMAT. I 'm trying to make the propagation realistic, considering the zonal harmonics, Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Venus perturbations, tidal forces and solar ...
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709 views

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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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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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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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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How is the software for scientific space missions developed?

The flight control software for the Space Shuttle was developed to the most rigorous standards that exist today. They went to enormous lengths to prevent bugs from ever threatening the mission and/or ...
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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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What computer and software is used by the Falcon 9?

I don't know if this would be public, but what CPU / Microcontrollers are used and what software do they run on the Falcon 9? Do they use an OS or is it just bare metal programming? I found some ...
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Does anybody work on a “spacecraft linux”?

There are quite many industrial Linux adaptions around, like in your router's firmware or the Android OS. On long term, probably any spacecraft will need to run more or less standard profiles of ...
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13answers
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What are the choices today for orbital mechanics simulation software?

I used to be familiar with the various choices out there for orbital mechanics simulation software. Alas, those days are gone. What are the choices today, preferably sorted by platform? This ...
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What operating system(s) were used in the space shuttle?

Is there any possibility to learn and use the operating system languages used in the space shuttle?
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Why wasn't the Mars Climate Orbiter's fatal error caught prior to launch?

The Mars Climate Orbiter failed in 1999 due to: ground-based computer software which produced output in non-SI units of pound (force)-seconds (lbf·s) instead of the SI units of newton-seconds (N·s) ...
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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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2k views

Is there any open source software that can compute GPS ground coverage? I need a free alternative to AGI's System Tool Kit (STK)

Does any open source software exist that can compute GPS ground coverage in real time? At work I used STK which would do the job perfectly, but I'm at school now so I only have the free version. For ...
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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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2answers
471 views

3D modelling of satellites around the earth

I want to find and see "GPS satellites in view" for different orbits missions. For example I want to see the observable GPS satellites for a specific satellite in GEO, for this purpose I need a ...
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325 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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83 views

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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348 views

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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467 views

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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109 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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1answer
553 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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What are some good softwares to simulate rocket trajectories ?

I am working on a college project which is based upon a experimental sounding rocket and it would be really helpful if the community could refer me good softwares to simulate trajectories of a rocket.
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554 views

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 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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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 ...