NASA Spinoff

NASA missions are extremely complex and prone to sudden, catastrophic failure if equipment falters or if an unforeseen event occurs. For these reasons, NASA trains to expect the unexpected. It tests its equipment and systems in extreme conditions, and it develops risk-analysis tests to foresee any possible problems.

Preparing a vehicle and its payload for a single launch is a complex process that involves thousands of operations. Because the equipment and facilities required to carry out these operations are extremely expensive and limited in number, optimal assignment and efficient use are critically important. Overlapping missions that compete for the same resources, ground rules, safety requirements, and the unique needs of processing vehicles and payloads destined for space impose numerous constraints that, when combined, require advanced scheduling.

NASA's Metrics Data Program Data Repository is a database that stores problem, product, and metrics data. The primary goal of this data repository is to provide project data to the software community. In doing so, the Metrics Data Program collects artifacts from a large NASA dataset, generates metrics on the artifacts, and then generates reports that are made available to the public at no cost. The data that are made available to general users have been sanitized and authorized for publication through the Metrics Data Program Web site by officials representing the projects from which the data originated.

NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) acquires, archives, and manages data from all of NASA’s Earth science satellites, for the benefit of the Space Agency and for the benefit of others, including local governments, first responders, the commercial remote sensing industry, teachers, museums, and the general public. EOSDIS is currently handling an extraordinary amount of NASA scientific data. To give an idea of the volume of information it receives, NASA’s Terra Earth-observing satellite, just one of many NASA satellites sending down data, sends it hundreds of gigabytes a day, almost as much data as the Hubble Space Telescope acquires in an entire year, or about equal to the amount of information that could be found in hundreds of pickup trucks filled with books.

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