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Old 08-07-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,496,555 times
Reputation: 6500

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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a part of Cal-Tech, and has been for roughly 30 years before NASA even existed-although under a different name. The JPL is considered NASA, but it is more a part of Cal-Tech as most of the employees working there are employed by Cal-Tech as the JPL is managed by Cal-Tech with NASA only having a field office. If I remember correctly, NASA funds the JPL, though. The JPL has a long history of designing and building systems for the U.S. Military, so I suppose it made sense to transfer the JPL to NASA in...1958 I believe.

The JPL is the "team" that took on the Curiosity Mission.

I also believe that most, if not all, of NASAs laboratories are either a part of a research university or a private business. Like all Government agencies, projects tend to be contracted out.

I understand what you are saying about the lack of keeping the project local, but, research science tends to not be limited to a country's borders. It's generally a global affair with the originating country taking the bragging rights. Despite the international effort, NASA, and thus America, will take the credit.
JPL also does its own programming. They have published several books on the subject of software development. I read a few of those books back in the 1980s and have used their methods for the last twenty-five years developing software for various businesses. JPL's software standards are far more stringent than any business would ever consider using.

Siemens may have written the code for the Curiosity probe, but it was JPL that got the MSL to Mars and landed it safely.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:56 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,925,167 times
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LOL @ the uneducated massess ...

NX (Unigraphics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NX CAD/CAM/CAE was Unigraphics, which got started in the late 60s from an American company. It stayed American all the way until Seimens bought EDS (aka Ross Perot's company).

So basically it's an American product that's now owned by a German company. But in reality, the Seimens branch that owns the PLM and CAD/CAM/CAE packages is based out of Plano, TX.

So before you start going and bellyaching that "OH NASA IS ANTI-AMERICAN!" "OH WOE IS UNTO AMERICAN BUSINESSES!" make sure you do some reading first. This is for all intents and purposes an American company supporting American jobs with American know-how ... it's just a few layers of management are now German at the top.

I'd rather it be German than Chinese.

Thank you.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:05 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,648,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
LOL @ the uneducated massess ...

NX (Unigraphics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NX CAD/CAM/CAE was Unigraphics, which got started in the late 60s from an American company. It stayed American all the way until Seimens bought EDS (aka Ross Perot's company).

So basically it's an American product that's now owned by a German company. But in reality, the Seimens branch that owns the PLM and CAD/CAM/CAE packages is based out of Plano, TX.

So before you start going and bellyaching that "OH NASA IS ANTI-AMERICAN!" "OH WOE IS UNTO AMERICAN BUSINESSES!" make sure you do some reading first. This is for all intents and purposes an American company supporting American jobs with American know-how ... it's just a few layers of management are now German at the top.

I'd rather it be German than Chinese.

Thank you.
Some people wouldn't recognize sarcasm if it hit them over the head.....
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,734,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miker2069 View Post
I am loving everything about the Curiousity landing on Mars. I am a little disssapointed that NASA couldn't use an American company for the software which controlled all the critical components of the machines. Really not taking anything away from Siemens (who has this plastered all over their website, and deservedly so) but come on, no *American* company could have done this?


Siemens Answers - Siemens USA
I know a number of people who have worked as software developers for Siemens in the US. The software could well have been written by American programmers. I would prefer that to software written in India or China for an American company, personally.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,734,548 times
Reputation: 3895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glitch View Post
JPL also does its own programming. They have published several books on the subject of software development. I read a few of those books back in the 1980s and have used their methods for the last twenty-five years developing software for various businesses. JPL's software standards are far more stringent than any business would ever consider using.
Perhaps, but I know from past experience that it took a long time for us to get software updates for our ACARS boxes back when I worked in flight ops IT for a major airline. Avionics firmware in civil passenger aircraft also has to go through some fairly rigorous testing.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:11 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,925,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
Some people wouldn't recognize sarcasm if it hit them over the head.....
Typed words rarely convey sarcasm well. Call me q body language type of guy.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,496,555 times
Reputation: 6500
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
Perhaps, but I know from past experience that it took a long time for us to get software updates for our ACARS boxes back when I worked in flight ops IT for a major airline. Avionics firmware in civil passenger aircraft also has to go through some fairly rigorous testing.
Very true. I used to work for Litton Aero Products out of Moore Park, California, during the 1980s and before anyone was allowed to write code, they first had to work as a debugger for a year.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:03 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,925,167 times
Reputation: 4125
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
Perhaps, but I know from past experience that it took a long time for us to get software updates for our ACARS boxes back when I worked in flight ops IT for a major airline. Avionics firmware in civil passenger aircraft also has to go through some fairly rigorous testing.
Ever since avionics and computers have found their way onto airplanes, they have been extensively tested. Transistors really allowed the boom in electronics on airplanes. There's so many regulations and standards to meet in testing software I have utter confidence in the code and firmware.

I work for a major aerospace firm, and worked on testing. I know. ... ... ... perhaps too well, stupid third shift test times.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,825 posts, read 20,496,555 times
Reputation: 6500
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Ever since avionics and computers have found their way onto airplanes, they have been extensively tested. Transistors really allowed the boom in electronics on airplanes. There's so many regulations and standards to meet in testing software I have utter confidence in the code and firmware.

I work for a major aerospace firm, and worked on testing. I know. ... ... ... perhaps too well, stupid third shift test times.
I recall a story I was told about a software bug in the attitude indicator. As soon as the plane crossed the equator the attitude indicator showed that the plane was flying upside down. I was told that the first plane to experience this software bug crashed into a mountain.

I do not know if the story was true, but it emphasized just how important it was to ensure the code functioned properly all the time.
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