NASA Chooses Web Suite For Moon, Mars Spacecraft Design - InformationWeek

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6/8/2007
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NASA Chooses Web Suite For Moon, Mars Spacecraft Design

Vignette's Next-Generation Web Suite has been selected to help rocket scientists design spacecraft for the upcoming Constellation Program.

On the morning of its space shuttle launch, NASA announced that its engineers and scientists will use a Vignette Next-Generation Web Suite to design spacecraft for the upcoming Constellation Program.

Vignette's online framework, or content and portal management software, allows employees and consultants with the federal agency to share information online. It also keeps Web site visitors connected. Now it will be used as NASA experts design space vehicles for the Constellation Program, which aims to put people back on the moon and then on Mars.

The suite of software for information management and application aggregation comes with a standard browser technology, so NASA personnel can connect, regardless of location or the device they use. Developers of the next crew exploration and launch vehicles will rely on Vignette to identify and track technical issues and team members' actions, and map solutions to the predetermined requirements serving as the baseline for early spacecraft designs, launch vehicles, and life support systems.

Pete Suthon, project manager for NASA's Review Item Discrepancy program, said in an interview Thursday that the ability of Vignette's management system to be easily configured and quickly deployed make it ideal for NASA's engineers. The review and scrutiny done by the Review Item Discrepancy team relying on Vignette's system could help prevent the human error that caused the Mars Orbiter's batteries to fail, which resulted in the loss of the spacecraft, Conleth O'Connell, CTO of Vignette, said in an interview.

NASA also relies on Vignette for its intranet as well as its external site, which allows school groups and other interested members of the public to personalize their visit.

"For nearly half a century, NASA has both inspired and educated Americans about space exploration, and the Constellation Program marks the next great step in scientific discovery," Leo Brunnick, Vignette senior VP of products and marketing, said in a prepared statement. "Vignette enables NASA to connect with all of its constituents, whether they're working on the latest rocket launch or learning about the solar system in an elementary school classroom."

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