Frequently Asked Questions
Are the software codes and tools listed in the software catalog available at "no cost"?
The NASA software listed in the catalog is available for use at no charge. Certain codes have been licensed by NASA for commercial purposes and are only available to other agencies or companies with a government contract. If a software product is available for commercial purposes, a statement indicating that the code "is available for licensing" will be included in the software description.
How often is this site updated?
This site is updated regularly as new NASA software codes and version updates become available. We invite you to visit often to see what new codes have been added.
How do I request a software code?
Create an account or log into an existing account.
Select the Request Software button below the item description in the software catalog entry. Complete the request form. You must fill in all required fields before you can submit your request.
Your request will automatically be routed to the appropriate Center Software Release Authority (SRA) for processing. Many NASA Open Source software codes and mobile apps provide a URL link so that the requester can download the software directly. Therefore, it is not necessary to use the Request Software button for these codes.
What is a release type? How does it affect you?
The release type determines who can have a NASA software code. If you meet the access criteria for the code (as defined below), NASA can transfer the software to you.
- General Public Release: For codes with a broad release and no nondisclosure or export control restrictions
- Open Source Release: For collaborative efforts in which programmers improve upon codes originally developed by NASA and share the changes
- U.S. Release Only: For codes available to U.S. persons only
- U.S. and Foreign Release: For codes that are available to U.S. persons and persons outside of the U.S. (who meet certain export control restrictions)
- U.S. Government Purpose Release: For codes that are to be used on behalf of the U.S. government by a federal agency or business/university under a federal contract/grant/agreement.
Why is access to some software codes restricted?
Each NASA code has been evaluated for access restrictions and designated for a specific type of release according to the purpose for which the software code was designed.
Some codes are deemed restricted because they have been developed for a specific government purpose (e.g., they may have munitions or defense applications). Codes designated U.S. Government Purpose Release require the user to work for a federal agency or a business/university with an active contract, grant, or Space Act Agreement with the federal government.
Why do I need to provide a contract/grant/agreement name and number?
When software is classified as a U.S. Government Purpose Release, NASA must be able to verify that the software will be used for a current U.S. government contract. For non-NASA contracts/grants, you will receive an email from the Center SRA asking for a copy of the front page of the contract and the pages that contain the current statement of work and period of performance for the contract/grant. In some cases, the agency’s contract monitor may be asked to verify the contract information. Once the contract information is received, the appropriate Software Usage Agreement (SUA) will be sent to you for signature.
How long will the process take?
Most software requests will be processed within 5 business days. After your request is reviewed by the Center SRA, you (or the individual identified on your request form with authority to sign the agreement) will receive an email notification that a Software Usage Agreement is ready for review and signature. If additional information is required in order to process your request, you will be contacted by the Center SRA with the specific details needed to complete your request.
After your signed agreement is accepted by the Center SRA, you will receive an email notification of the method of software delivery. If the software code is available for download through the NASA Software Catalog system, you will have 14 days to download the software through your user account.
Whom do I contact if I have specific questions about specific codes located in the catalog or on this website?
A list of center software release contacts is provided at the "Software Contacts" link in the right sidebar of the home page. Please email any questions regarding specific codes to the contact for the center at which the software was developed as indicated in the software catalog entry.
What does "signatory authority" mean?
Business: Only someone with signatory authority who can legally bind the company can sign the Software Usage Agreement. Typically, that person would be an officer of the company (e.g., President, CEO, etc.).
University: Only someone with signatory authority who can legally bind the school can sign the Software Usage Agreement. Typically, that person would be an officer within the university’s administration.