NASA's Kepler Mission Wins 2010 Software Of The Year Award

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler mission Science Operations Center software
system was named winner of the 2010 NASA Software of the Year Award
by the NASA Software Advisory Panel.

Designed, developed and operated by the Kepler Science Operations
Center (SOC) at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.,
the SOC software system is used to find Earth-size planets using
photometric data acquired from the Kepler spacecraft.

The SOC software system is a suite of 22 custom-designed tools for
processing, analyzing, and storing transit photometry and engineering
data for the Kepler Mission. The Kepler mission is the first NASA
mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the "habitable
zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist
on the surface of the orbiting planet.

Kepler is a space observatory that looks for the data signatures of
planets by measuring tiny decreases in stars' brightness when planets
cross in front of, or transit them. The size of the planet can be
derived from the change in the star's brightness.

On June 15, the Kepler mission released data that could double the
amount of known planets outside of the solar system. Of the 165,000
stars that the Kepler mission has been monitoring for planetary
transits, approximately 750 of them reveal planetary candidates. All
of these discoveries were made possible by the SOC software system
and the team that developed and manages it.

"Their outstanding work has made a significant and lasting
contribution to Ames' technology
development portfolio and to NASA's leadership in astronomical
research," said Ames Director S. Pete Worden. "I am absolutely
delighted that the NASA Kepler Science Operations Center has been
honored with this prestigious award. As a center, we have enjoyed
great success in previous NASA Software of the Year competitions, and
this award adds to our proud legacy."

Ames has won or been a co-winner of the NASA Software of the Year
award nine times since it was initiated in 1994. For this year's
award, there were two runner ups - LEWis ICE accretion program
(LEWICE), Version 3.2.2 from NASA's Glenn Research Center in
Cleveland and International Polar Orbiter Processing Package (IPOPP)
from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

A formal ceremony to present the 2010 Software of the Year award will
be held Feb. 9-10, 2011 at the NASA Project Management Challenge
Conference in Long Beach, Calif.

The Office of Safety and Mission Assurance and the Chief Information
Officer sponsor the NASA Software of the Year Competition to identify
innovative software technologies that significantly improve the
agency's exploration of space and maximize scientific discovery on
Earth. A NASA Software Advisory Panel assesses and ranks entries and
reports its findings to NASA's Inventions and Contributions Board.

Ames is responsible for the ground system development, mission
operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed the Kepler mission
development. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo.,
developed the Kepler flight system, and supports mission operations
with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the
University of Colorado in Boulder. The Space Telescope Science
Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes the Kepler
science data.

For more information about Kepler, visit:


For more information about Ames, visit:


For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


Source: NASA

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