Jan 16 2013

NASA Technology on Planet Earth and Beyond

IT supports 18,000 employees on Earth and a robot on Mars.

NASA consistently makes the headlines because of their technology initiatives. Sure, sending humans and robots into space is cool, but so is the IT infrastructure that supports NASA’s 18,000 employees. In addition to testing soil on the surface of Mars, they are supporting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and optimizing their data centers. NASA is one of the most technologically advanced and complex organizations in the world.

While NASA’s goals may differ from most government agencies, its logistical problems remain largely the same, according to TechNewsWorld:

While the field centers run science and engineering IT projects individually, NASA must still be administered as a large nationwide organization. Perhaps the least dramatic -- but most complex -- use of IT in NASA is, according to Brian Dunbar, sharing information and working together as a single organization. NASA runs a huge mix of computers and software, including major operating systems like Windows, Macintosh and Unix.

Until recently, different financial systems were used across NASA, wastefully duplicating the management of human resources, purchasing, payroll, travel and more. Now, however, NASA is building a modular Integrated Financial Management Program (IFMP) that, according to program executive Patrick Ciganer, "allows us to work with common tools toward common goals, not as 10 different centers with different ways of budgeting or managing their finances."

Read NASA, Information Technology and the Future of Collaboration on TechNewsWorld.

Over the years, we’ve covered many different technology angles surrounding NASA. Everything from the bandwidth on Mars to the management of data center infrastructure has been of great interest to FedTech readers. Here are some of our favorite NASA-related stories of the past few years.