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NASA - Software Release Process
September 28, 2011

Visit our Software Catalog to browse available titles.

To request a particular title, please send e-mail or call (281) 483-3809 so we can discuss your request.

Software Usage Agreements enable approved individuals and organizations to access JSC software.

The JSC Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office (TTO) makes select software available for public release through JSC's Software Release Authority. The Software Release Authority approves the release of software from JSC as well as release to external or internal partners for marketing, distribution, and use.

All new software developed at JSC that will be made available to others goes through the Software Release Process. The TTO coordinates export control review, intellectual property review, commercialization assessment, and software release action and determines if reported software meets NASA policies and guidelines

Types of Software Release

Software may be approved for several different types of release:

General Public Release: This release category is the broadest release category possible and may be approved only if Software Accepted (As-Built) Baseline has been categorized as Publicly Releasable Software. This release category indicates there are no export restrictions on the software and should be approved with great care and requires concurrence by Agency Export Control officials. Once software has been approved for General Public Release, all other release types could be allowed; however, some may be inappropriate, e.g., if no further development is envisioned, then a Beta Release would be inappropriate. This type of release also meets the requirements of open source software as defined by the Open Source Initiative→ . Use requires either a Software Usage Agreement (SUA) or an Open Source license.

Open Source Release: Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.

U.S. and Foreign Release: This release category authorizes what is essentially a General U.S. Release, with additional availability to foreign persons. This category is only for software that may have special considerations, such as public health and safety benefits, or where special circumstances accrue economic benefit to the U.S. This release category requires concurrence by Agency Export Control officials. An SUA is required, and appropriate non-disclosure provisions may be included.

U.S. Release Only: This release category authorizes the release of software for use by U.S persons only. It does not remove Export Control restrictions. This release category does not allow further transfer of the software by the recipient without the prior written approval of NASA. A SUA is required, and appropriate nondisclosure and export control provisions may be included.

U.S. Government Purpose Release: This large, but restrictive, release category includes five subcategories. An SUA is required, and appropriate nondisclosure and export control provisions may be included. The following subcategories are included under this release category.

  • Beta Release: A limited release of the Software Code Baseline for government purposes of acquiring evaluation comments and feedback.
  • Project Release: Any release of the Software Product Baseline or the Software Accepted (As-Built) Baseline to be used on behalf of the U.S. government.
  • Developmental Release: A release of the Software Product Baseline specifically for further development on behalf of the government and not including operational use.
  • Interagency Release: A release of any software for use by another U.S. government agency.
  • NASA Release: A release of any software for use only by NASA personnel and NASA contractors.

Visit the NASA Online Directives Information System (NODIS) Library→  for more information.

Contact Us

For assistance or additional information, please send e-mail or call (281) 483-3809.

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Page Last Updated: January 16th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator