5 NASA Software Codes You Can Download – For Free!
One of the biggest steps of any mission starts right here on
Earth at a computer desk – NASA runs on software, period. Rovers can’t move,
spacecraft can’t fly, even rockets can’t blast off without the software codes
that run them all.
We’ve compiled hundreds of these powerful codes into
one location at software.nasa.gov. And guess what? You can start downloading
them right now for free! Here are just a few you can use:
TetrUSS has been used extensively for space launch vehicle
analysis and design, like on the Space Launch System, which is planned to take
humans to Mars.
You really could say it’s helping us to “blast off.” Outside
of NASA, this software has been used to analyze Mars planetary entry vehicles,
ballistics and even high-altitude sky diver aerodynamics. Basically if
anything has moved through any planetary atmosphere, this software has played a
2. KNIFE (part of the FUN3D software and released as a package)
The name may be a bit intimidating, but with good reason –
KNIFE packs a powerful punch.
It was created to help us learn more about the
sonic booms that resonate when planes break the sound barrier, but it has also
helped develop green energy sources such as wind turbines and techniques to
minimize drag for long-haul trucking. Maybe we should re-name this versatile
and handy code, “Swiss Army KNIFE?”
3. Cart3D (Automated Triangle Geometry Processing for Surface Modeling and Cartesian Grid Generation)
If software codes went to high school, Cart3D would be Prom
Queen. This software is so popular, it is being used in almost every mission area here at NASA.
Engineers and scientists are currently using it to model
everything from advanced drones to quieter supersonic aircraft.
4. FACET (Future Air Traffic Management Concepts Evaluation Tool)
Frequent flyers: this may be your favorite code without even
knowing it. FACET was developed to evaluate futuristic concepts in air traffic
management, and it has served as a testbed for assessing today’s regular
To sum it up, this software code helps airports keep planes
organized in the air and on the ground.
GIPSY-OASIS is part of the GPS system to end all GPS systems. It’s so accurate, John Deere used it to help create self-driving tractors.
How? John Deere already had a navigation system in the works, but it
could only be used in certain parts of the world.
Our ground stations are all
across the globe, and our software ensures accuracy down to a few inches. And
so, a new breed of tractor was born! Did
we mention this software is free?
These are just a few examples of the software NASA has
available for free public and consumer use. To browse the catalog online, check
Alba Salix, Royal Physician* - Follows trials and tribulations of Farloria’s head witch of the House of Healing, Alba Salix. It is a 6-part mini-series (+ bonuses) with no future episodes currently planned.
The Behemoth -
15-year-old Madyson tells the story of the Behemoth, a large, lumbering beast that has emerged from the waters off of Cape Cod. It will be a 20-part mini-series.
Hello From the Magic Tavern - An improv comedy podcast hosted by Arnie, a man who accidentally passed through a portal into the land of “Foon”. Every week Arnie interviews patrons of the Vermilion Minotaur tavern including monsters, wizard, and adventurers.
Audio drama (Horror)
Alice Isn’t Dead* -
A truck driver searches across America for the wife she had long assumed was dead, encountering not-quite-human serial murderers, towns literally lost in time, and a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman along the way.
This podcast is produced by the same people who brought you Welcome to Night Vale.
Archive 81 - These are the recovered tapes of missing archivist Daniel Powell, posted by a well-meaning friend hoping to locate him.
Help Me - Nicole investigates the mysterious death of her friend Olivia and possible link to a dangerous entity. It is a 15-part mini-series with no future episodes currently planned.
Limetown* - Radio host Lia Haddock investigates the sudden disappearance of the residents of Limetown. It is a 7-part mini-series (+ bonuses) with future seasons (and possibly a TV show) in the works.
Return Home - Jonathan Baker returns to his home town after being contacted by a mysterious entity. Episodes are broken up into multiple parts aired every week, with breaks between episodes.
Audio drama (Pseudo-radio show)
The Black Tapes* - (horror) A weekly radio show hosted by Alex Reagan that investigates unsolved paranormal phenomenon documented by the Strand Institute. They also produce TANIS.
The Message* - (sci-fi) Nicky Tomalin documents the work of a team of cryptologists as the attempt to decipher an alien message. It is an 8-part mini-series.
Good Morning Zakera Ward - (sci-fi, Mass Effect) A morning radio show set in the Mass Effect universe. It is an 11-part series that appears to have ended abruptly, but is still worth a listen if you’re a fan of the games.
King Falls AM - (sci-fi/fantasy) A late-night talk show from quaint town of King Falls that is frequently interrupted by peculiar happenings and paranormal events.
TANIS - (horror) A docu-drama series hosted by Nic Silver exploring the myth and conspiracy of Tanis. They also produce The Black Tapes.
Welcome to Night Vale - (cosmic horror) Community radio updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.
Audio drama (Sci-Fi)
ars PARADOXICA* - A journey through spacetime and the Cold War with Dr. Sally Grissom, a physicist send back in time when an experiment goes awry.
The Bright Sessions* - The recorded therapy sessions of Dr. Bright, who provides support for patients with unusual talents. ((It’s more of a paranormal drama that a true sci-fi)).
The Bunker - A breakfast radio show broadcast back in time to us from the post-apocalyptic year 2414. It’s a 12-part mini-series, and the developers are currently working on another sci-fi series that will be titled Mars Corp.
EOS 10* - The adventures of two maladjusted doctors, their medical team, and a hypochondriac ex-prince aboard an intergalactic travel hub.
Kakos Industries - Corporate announcements for Kakos Industries, a corporation dedicated to helping you ‘do evil better’.
Liberty - Tales from Atrius, a colony cut off from humanity and racked by civil war, and the surrounding lawless expanse known as the Fringe. It consists of multiple mini-series.
Sayer - Acclimate to life on Earth’s man-made second moon, Typhon, with the assistance of the self-aware AI SAYER.
Thrilling Adventure Hour - A podcast in the style of an old-timey radio show consisting of the regular sub-series ‘Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars’ and ‘Beyond Belief’ as well as other segments.
Wolf 359*** - Follows the crew of the U.S.S. Hephaestus Research Station as they orbit around the red dwarf Wolf 359. This is my all-time favourite series - you should be downloading it right now… unless you’ve already heard it in which case you should definitely treat yourself and listen to it again.
Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History - As the title implies, this is really hardcore history. Episodes are exceedingly well-researched and is surprisingly easy to listen to considering the density of the subject matter.
Lore - A podcast examining myths and folktales alongside the true dark stories that either inspired or arose from them. A chilling listen that also has a TV show in the works.
Myths and Legends - Re-tellings of both popular and obscure legends that make them very accessible to a modern audience (i.e. people like me who DON’T read Beowulf in it’s original Old English for fun in their free time).
Sleep With Me* - Honestly, I have no idea what this podcast is actually about because Ackerman’s ramblings are so soothing I’m usually asleep shortly after turning it on. If you have insomnia and problems falling asleep to silence (like myself), this is a must-download - it’s more engaging that rain/wave/whale noises but you don’t have to worry about missing anything.
Escape Pod - Every episode consists of a sci-fi short story from a variety of sub-genres, and they are generally 30-60 minutes in length. If you enjoy Escape Pod, also check out their fantasy (PodCastle) and horror (PseudoPod) podcasts.
The NoSleep Podcast - Narrations of short horror stories posted to the NoSleep reddit board. It’s featured horror stories for every squick and trigger imaginable so be careful with this one if you aren’t into hardcore horror, and definitely heed the warnings at the beginnings of episodes.
Serial - I don’t think it’s possible to be a podcast fan and not have (at the very least) heard about Serial. If you haven’t listened to it yet, definitely give it a go - there’s a reason it was at the top of the (Canadian) iTunes store for close to a year. It’s produced by ‘This American Life’, which is another professionally-produced podcast worthy of downloading.
Someone Knows Something - A series produced by CBC that examines unsolved cases of missing or murdered individuals.
Thin Air Podcast - Two English majors investigate cold cases by examining evidence and interviewing people involved with the original investigation.
Pending - I either haven’t started these or haven’t listened to enough to categorize them, but most have been rec’d by multiple sources so check them out!
A New Winter - A first-hand account of the unsolved murders and disappearances of 25 people in a small UK village.
The Cleansed: A Post-Apocalyptic Saga - (audio drama - sci-fi) An epic post-apocalyptic saga set in a world ravaged by fossil fuel scarcity.
Greater Boston - An audio drama set in Boston that blends the real and the unreal, the historical and the fantastical.
Hadron Gospel Hour - (audio drama - sci-fi)A sci-fi comedy/adventure following a duo of scientists stranded ouside of spacetime in the Hadron Bunker.
Jim Robbie and the Wanderers - (audio drama - sci-fi) Follows two female musicians travelling surreal America with their robot companion, Jim Robbie.
Monster Talk - (informational) Examines the science behind cryptozoological and legendary monsters.
The Night Blogger - (audio drama - paranormal) It appears to follow blogger Brian Foster’s encounters with the paranormal.
Our Fair City - (audio drama - sci-fi) A campy (their words), post-apocalyptic audio drama.
Pete’s Paranormal Chronicles - (audio drama) In 1996, Pete Schwartz began work on a documentary series called Pete’s Paranormal Chronicles, but his sanity began to unravel during the production of the program and he became completely immersed in a nationwide conspiracy.
The Twilight World of Ultimate Smoothness - A podcast chronicling the decline and fall of radio veteran Greg Willis. It is a 6-part mini-series.
Ruby: The Adventures of a Galactic Gumshoe - (audio drama) Ruby is a hip, tough-talking detective hired to track down the malefactors who are manipulating the media on the planet Summa Nulla (the “high point of nothing”).
Unexplained - (informational) A podcast about strange and mysterious real-life events that continue to evade explanation.
As always, if there’s a podcast you like that’s missing from this list, please drop me a line (message, ask, fan mail, raven, etc. etc.) and I’ll check it out! I’ll also be adding a podcast link to my blog featuring this list with updates. Enjoy~
Our own Dan Savage – who founded It Gets Better btw – was featured in this list of exemplary Queer Podcasts for his project Savage Lovecast, essentially a podcast version of his weekly sex & relationship advice column.
Also featured in the list are The Read, Homoground (featuring LGBTQ music artists), Pod Save the People, and more.
listen…..i have zero good excuses for this. when i saw this prompt in my inbox, i just couldn’t stop writing for some reason.
summary: Jack Zimmermann, NHL Superstar of the Providence
Falconers, is on the verge of coming out as gay. His team’s PR Team
insists he establishes a social media presence before he does so that he
can better control the narrative after. The only problem? He totally
has a crush on the consultant they hire to help him. ao3
“Listen, I mean this in the nicest possible way, but my job here is
to convince people that you have some basic emotions about things that
aren’t hockey,” Eric Bittle said from across the table. He was dressed
smartly in slacks and a printed button-down that pulled across his
biceps appealingly. Jack was having a hard time focusing on anything
else. “We all know the Jack Zimmermann ‘story’, but no one really knows
just Jack. Does that make sense?”
“Just Jack?” he asked, blinking at Eric.
“You know.” Eric waved encouragingly. “What you do in off-season or
what you do with your friends on days off. What do you do when you’re
not being Jack Zimmermann, NHL player?”
Jack stared at
him blankly. He remembered all of the times that he had to swallow the
bile at the back of his throat when someone joked that he was a hockey
robot, but for the life of him, he couldn’t remember when the last time
was that he went out with friends that weren’t also teammates.
Eric sighed, probably taking his silence for intransigence instead of genuine dumbfounded-ness.
Kynseed is a 2D sandbox adventure from veterans of Lionhead Studios’ Fable series. Drawing from years of experience crafting the iconic Fable titles, we aim to deliver an all-new quirky RPG filled to the brim with mystery, exploration, awful puns, and sandbox possibilities.
While invoking the spirit of past Fable games, Kynseed is infused with our own ideas and a mix of British folklore, ancient legend, and rustic traditions. We hope to capture these inspirations in an atmospheric world with whimsy, humour, and eccentricity, and not a single orc or high elf in sight.
For all who haven’t heard from Twitter or elsewhere, Kynseed has just launched its Kickstarter campaign, with a minimum goal of
£30,000 (about $38,740) set for it to be in full-time development.
Following the link, there’s a promotional video showing game footage from the prototype, which is available for download right now in the KS’s campaign section, whether or not your a backer. It’s a perfect way for you to see what it’s about for yourself!
For those of you who aren’t sure how Kickstarter works, you will only be charged if/when the project is fully funded, before the end date it has set (June 3rd, in Kynseed’s case). The more you pledge to donate, the more goodies you get when the game is released. Some rewards for this campaign are:
Digital copy of the game (when released for Early Access). (7/$9)
Digital Art Pack (wallpapers, posters, gifs). (10/$13)
Your name in the credits for all to view in wonderment. (10/$13)
Digital Soundtrack. (15/$19)
And many, many more.
The lowest tier is $9, and every backer is guaranteed a copy of the game when it is released for early access. (For those worried their old PC/laptop won’t be able to run it, there is a veeery small chance of it, since the game is 2D)
This game looks like it has so much potential, and I really want to see it succeed. I urge you to check out the kickstarter, read some of the features and projected goals (music by Russell Shaw!!), and, if you can, become a backer!