Nasa puts space station software to the test

Nasa puts space station software to the test

Summary: A look inside the lab housing a duplicate set of the systems on the International Space Station, Nasa and Boeing check new software out before uploading it to the station

TOPICS: Networking

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  • Houston lab housing duplicate of ISS systems

    Hidden away in a nondescript building in Houston, Texas, is a duplicate set of the computing systems found onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

    The building houses the ISS software development and integration laboratory — a facility run by Nasa and aerospace company Boeing. The lab is the last stop for software before it is uploaded to the station.

    Software is first developed in the prime software production facility, before being checked in the software verification facility and subsequently integrated with duplicate station hardware in the software integration laboratory.

    Photo credit: Nick Heath/

  • Computer terminal that duplicates a robotic arm onboard the ISS

    This computer terminal is the same as one used to control a robotic arm onboard the ISS.

    The lab runs new software on the terminal to check the code will work properly in orbit.

    The three upper displays seen here show video feeds from a camera on the arm, allowing crew members to use the joystick to steer the arm to its target.

    The station's main robotic arm is used for a wide range of purposes, including station assembly, maintenance and anchoring astronauts during spacewalks.

    Photo credit: Nick Heath/

Topic: Networking


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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