Wind River Selected for NASA Ares Next-Generation Launch Vehicles

22nd December 2009
ES Admin
Wind River today announced that NASA has selected Wind River VxWorks 653 as the real-time operating system for the flight and command computers in the Ares I and Ares V next-generation launch vehicles. VxWorks 653 will be the cornerstone for the Instrument Unit Avionics (IUA), providing guidance, navigation and control capabilities for the upcoming Ares I manned launch vehicle and the Ares V cargo vehicle, which will send future astronauts and large-scale hardware into orbit.
The Ares next-generation project represents four years of innovation and a highly complex hardware and software environment. Wind River's depth of experience and industry success in aerospace and defense were key factors in NASA's decision to use VxWorks 653. Wind River provides NASA with the assurance that VxWorks 653 will serve the life of the system, providing the reliability necessary for mission-critical operations in space flight.

The Ares I rocket, a crew launch vehicle in development for NASA's Constellation Program, is the essential core of a reliable, cost-effective space transportation system that will carry crewed missions to the moon and out into the solar system. Ares V is NASA's cargo launch vehicle and the heavy lifter of America's next-generation space fleet, serving as NASA's primary vessel for safe, reliable delivery of large-scale hardware into space.

The aerospace and defense industry requires reliable, effective software tools that comply with rigorous certification requirements, said Rob Hoffman, vice president and general manager, aerospace and defense, Wind River. Wind River has worked with NASA for more than two decades and the inclusion of VxWorks 653 in the Ares launch vehicles underscores our commitment to providing aerospace customers with the robust mission-critical device software that they need.

The Wind River VxWorks 653 platform delivers the stringent, complete ARINC 653 integrated modular avionics (IMA) foundation aerospace and defense companies need to address the safety requirements of mission-critical applications, while enabling the use of noncritical applications on shared computer platforms. It is coupled with complete and proven RTCA DO-178B Level A certification evidence that enables rapid acceptance by global safety certification authorities or internal review processes.

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