An Assessment of Space Shuttle Flight Software Development Processes

Overview

Effective software is essential to the success and safety of the Space Shuttle, including its crew and its payloads. The on-board software continually monitors and controls critical systems throughout a Space Shuttle flight. At NASA's request, the committee convened to review the agency's flight software development processes and to recommend a number of ways those processes could be improved.
This book, the result of the committee's study, evaluates the safety, oversight, and ...
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Overview

Effective software is essential to the success and safety of the Space Shuttle, including its crew and its payloads. The on-board software continually monitors and controls critical systems throughout a Space Shuttle flight. At NASA's request, the committee convened to review the agency's flight software development processes and to recommend a number of ways those processes could be improved.
This book, the result of the committee's study, evaluates the safety, oversight, and management functions that are implemented currently in the Space Shuttle program to ensure that the software is of the highest quality possible. Numerous recommendations are made regarding safety and management procedures, and a rationale is offered for continuing the Independent Verification and Validation effort that was instituted after the Challenger Accident.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
At the recommendation of the National Research Council in reaction to the Challenger space shuttle accident, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration formed a committee early in 1992 to assess the need for an independent verification and validation of NASA's software development and oversight process. Here is their report, based on interviews, presentations, questions to NASA and its contractors, and literature. It finds both the software and the development process excellent in general, but suggests some improvements in oversight. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780309048804
  • Publisher: National Academies Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 8.44 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

Acronyms and Abbreviations
Figures and Tables
Executive Summary 1
1 Overview of the Study 19
The Committee's Task 20
Contents of this Report 21
Previous Studies 22
The Flight Software Challenge 25
2 Independent Verification and Validation of Critical Software 29
Orientation 30
Scope 31
Independence 31
IV & V in the Shuttle Program 38
3 The Space Shuttle Flight Software Development Process 39
4 The Space Shuttle Flight Software Verification and Validation Process 53
NASA Guidelines and Standards 54
Off-Nominal Cases 55
System-Level Software V & V 56
The Independence of IV & V 58
5 The Silent Safety Program Revisited 61
Software System Safety 63
Software Safety Standards 65
Software Safety Procedures 67
Personnel 71
System-Safety Organization Roles and Responsibilities 72
6 Organizational Issues 77
Documenting the Process 77
Organizational Roles and Responsibilities 79
Policies, Guidelines, and Enforcement 84
7 Final Thoughts and Future Considerations 87
Gathering the Lessons Learned 87
Contract Reporting Requirements 89
Organizational Learning 89
Establishing State-of-the-Art Capabilities Within NASA 91
Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 93
Bibliography 95
App. A. Study Participants 101
App. B. Statement of Task 105
App. C. Interim Report of the Committee for Review of Oversight Mechanisms for Space Shuttle Flight Software Processes: Independent Verification and Validation for Space Shuttle Flight Software 107
App. D. Overview of ASET IV & V Methodology 131
App. E. Flight Software Verification and Validation Requirements 139
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