NASA has more than 1,000 free apps available for technical use that you can download now: from simulators to augmented reality

If you’re into science, technology, or space, it’s worth checking out their impressive catalog


If you like space or technology, watch out because the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has a huge and spectacular catalog of free software available to anyone for public use to specialize in NASA’s space and aeronautics programs.

NASA’s open software catalog is huge

The software available from the US space agency is hosted on the website of the NASA Technology Transfer Program, which aims to ‘ensure that innovations developed for exploration and discovery are widely available to the public‘.

Every year the number of programs and packages available increases and at the moment they already exceed a thousand. The good thing is that, as we anticipated in the intro, they are available to everyone and are free. While they may be interesting for research companies, you can also use them to tinker on your own. Of course, they are in English.

NASA explains that although they are available at no cost, some may have access requirements and restrictions, such as those classified as ‘U.S. Government Purpose Release‘ or ‘U.S. Release Only‘, although a good part of them are general release, open source and can be used outside the United States.

Taking into account the amount of software available, NASA has classified them by categories, among which the following stand out:

  • Aeronautics
  • Environmental Science
  • Electronics & Electric Power
  • Structures and Mechanisms
  • Vehicle Management
  • Design and integration tools
  • Materials and Processes
  • Operations
  • Data and image processing
  • Data Server Processing and Management
  • Propulsion
  • System Testing
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Enterprise Systems & Project Management
  • Crew and life support

However, it is worth taking a look at the explanatory document of this 2023 – 2024 edition, since for example it has a section of the Top 20 programs (they refer to them as ‘Codes’) for you to start trying.

The ranking with NASA’s most interesting programs

How to download one of these NASA apps? On the aforementioned website, go to ‘Software Catalog’ and search through categories or enter the name in the search engine. Then, go to its main page, where you will see a description of the program and tap on the blue ‘Download Now’ button. Those with certain restrictions will require you to fill out a form first.

NASA logo: (Wikipedia) and screenshot



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