|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
Re^2: Perl in space?by jhourcle (Prior)
|on Aug 26, 2010 at 14:03 UTC||Need Help??|
NASA has this concept of "Tech Readiness Level", where you basically have to go through various levels of testing before use in flight. As I understand it, TRL applies to all technology (hardware, software, specific materials, etc.) There's then the "Software Safety Guidebook", which doesn't even mention Perl. (yet, they mention VisualBasic). ... but based on the criteria they use (strongly typed, compiled, etc), Perl is going to be a problem.
There are specific requirements for assessments of systems in the Software Assurance Standard, based on the classification of the systems:
Class D and below are where you get descriptions qualified with :
A defect in Class D software may cause rework but has no direct impact on mission objectives or system safety
I know there's Class D software written in Perl. (I've written some of it.) It's likely that Perl will *never* be in use in Class A or B. I also know of some Class C software out there that's written in Perl (stuff to retrieve and merge various documents for mission planners, and some client/socket software to obtain a secondary science product from ground stations and process them), but I don't know how common it is, as I don't work in mission operations or science operations; I fall under science analysis.
Now, this sounding rocket ... I'm guessing it'd be either Class B or C (depending if it was being used for a primary or secondary mission objective), but as it's not a long-lived mission, doesn't need to be a high TRL; this could've just been considered a prototype.