NASA Kennedy Space Center has selected technology and strategic consulting services provider SRA International’s Spacecraft Command Language to support the Constellation Program, which will develop the new systems and vehicles that will replace the Space Shuttle and provide for the US’ next-generation of space exploration.
According to SRA, NASA KSC is modernizing the launch control system, using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based solutions to control costs and introduce technology. SRA’s Spacecraft Command Language (SCL) software package will provide NASA KSC engineers with the tools necessary to process the new launch vehicle and provide real-time monitoring and control of the launch control infrastructure.
SRA has said that its SCL will be used throughout the entire infrastructure of the Ares launch vehicle, the replacement for the Space Shuttle. At NASA KSC, SCL will be used to monitor ground support equipment; control the re-fueling process; regulate countdown sequencing; and review and test the Ares vehicle prior to and during countdown.
SCL has been approved for the International Space Station, and has more than 10 years of on-orbit experience as a COTS flight software product for NASA and military satellites. SCL uses the same software on the flight system as on ground control systems, allowing information to flow easily among systems and providing cost savings.
Brian Buckley, program manager of SCL system at SRA, said: NASA has embraced the idea of software re-use throughout the entire life cycle of the Constellation Program. The SCL software is being used successfully on the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and the manufacturing infrastructure used throughout the country by NASA. This contract solidifies SCL’s role in the launch infrastructure for Constellation and will provide NASA with a high level of automation and significant cost savings.