Accession Number : ADA298491

Title :   Space Station: NASA's Software Development Approach Increases Safety and Cost Risks.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY DIV

PDF Url : ADA298491

Report Date : JUN 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 37

Abstract : The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is undertaking one of its most ambitious projects ever-Space Station Freedom. As part of this effort, NASA has started developing computer software that will drive the station's 10 main on-board computer systems. This software will perform critical functions ranging from keeping the station in its proper orbit to maintaining life support of the crew. In contrast with the space shuttle, software development for the station will be highly dispersed, with three prime contractors and scores of subcontractors across the country developing millions of lines of computer software code. This software is meant to last for the station's entire life-three decades. Given the risks inherent in such a large, complex undertaking, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology asked GAO to determine (1) if independent verification and validation techniques are being used to ensure that critical software meets specified requirements and functions; (2) if NASA has incorporated software risk management techniques into the program; (3) whether standards are in place that will prescribe a disciplined, uniform approach to software development; and (4) if software support tools will help, as intended, to maximize efficiency in developing and maintaining the software.

Descriptors :   *SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, *SPACE STATIONS, *SPACEBORNE, COMPUTER PROGRAMS, METHODOLOGY, RISK, MANAGEMENT, VERIFICATION, VALIDATION, COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, SPACE SHUTTLES, LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS, PANEL(COMMITTEE).

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software
      Manned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE