CosmosCode is now open for internal alpha testing! Please contact us (email below) for more information or to be part of the testing process.

CosmosCode will be a core offering of free and open source space software through an independent project hosting website, and the development and management of a free software community specific to the challenges and opportunities afforded by space. This community will provide a common access point for individuals, academics, companies, and space agencies around the world using, contributing to, or supporting re-usable, modular, extensible, or standards driven space exploration software.

As the NASA lead for IT within the Constellation program, Ames Research Center is incubating the CosmosCode project in recognition of the immense advances of recent years in collaborative and Internet technologies, and the ability of those technologies to support and extend its work.


The goals of CosmosCode are to:

  1. Explore the cost-benefit of leveraging the free and open source development process for projects that normally costs millions of dollars in development and testing;
  2. Open a door to our silicon valley neighbors and encourage private industry to create products and services which leverage and extend NASA’s investments, extending their applicability and relevance to the commercial sector;
  3. Leverage the free and open source community to improve software quality, enhance the functionality of existing software products, and create a virtual center of expertise in the area of space software;
  4. Improve the effectiveness of existing collaborations with other NASA Centers, space agencies, universities, and contractors;
  5. Through tutorials, transparency, collaborative planning, and a direct connection to NASA developers, provide an on-ramp for programmers looking to get involved in space, and for space companies looking to get involved in software;
  6. Distribute NASA's public software to as wide an audience as possible.


CosmosCode will offer:

  1. Free Project Hosting (source code repository and project tools (Trac): wiki, tickets, subversion browsing)
  2. Guides and HowTos on developing open source for the space sector, blogs and discussion forums for questions and relationship building

Community building: bridging the divide

  1. Clarifying and paving the way for NASA projects to participate in the free/open source community; Opening the door for the the same community to support core NASA mission requirements
  2. Focus on interaction and collaboration


In building this online space, CosmosCode aims to solidify and extend the core competency of skills, knowledge and tools that the space community can draw from, and to create incentive for the community to converge upon common practices and open standards. By leveraging this, a shared platform can emerge upon which markets and commercial enterprise can invest, bootstrapping the advancement of space exploration. By bridging the divide between the free and open source community, and space agencies, CosmosCode aims to make space exploration a truly participatory activity.

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Contact: Jessy Cowan-Sharp:

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