1 min read

Brief: NASA Will Put Rational Rose To The Test On Telescope Project

NASA's requirement that participants use the Unified Modeling Language effectively mandates developers use IBM's Rational Rose Real-Time.

The Webb telescope--if it flies.

The Webb telescope--if it flies.
Before launching the James Webb space telescope in 2013, NASA will test the limits of distributed software development and design. The project also will show whether a tool IBM bought in 2003 is up to the task.

The telescope is being built by NASA with Canadian and European space agencies and subcontractors. To avoid problems like the Hubble telescope's, in which mirrors ground to the wrong specifications forced a space shuttle mission to replace them, NASA is requiring participants to use the Unified Modeling Language, which lets code be generated from models, and public software standards and interfaces when possible.

NASA has mandated that Webb's developers use IBM's Rational Rose Real-Time, a development tool based on UML modeling and supporting standards. IBM bought Rational for $2.1 billion. Expectations, to say the least, are sky high.