Space exploration can tell us a lot about our planet and universe and how it began and evolved. It also presents major challenges as we send untended devices into deep space, and other harsh environments. We examine the role of software in making space exploration missions possible and its role in enabling truly autonomous missions that can be resilient in harsh environment, returning valuable data to Earth. We relate several areas of software research to one of the most complex and ambitious autonomous missions ever envisaged.
Mike Hinchey is Professor of Software Engineering at University of Limerick, Ireland. Prior to joining Lero, Professor Hinchey was Director of the NASA Software Engineering Laboratory; he continues to serve as a NASA Expert. In 2009 he was awarded NASA's Kerley Award as Innovator of the Year. Hinchey holds a B.Sc. in Computer Systems from University of Limerick, an M.Sc. in Computation from University of Oxford and a PhD in Computer Science from University of Cambridge. The author/editor of more than 15 books and over 200 articles on various aspects of Software Engineering, at various times Hinchey previously held positions as Full Professor in Australia, UK, Sweden and USA. He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Engineering Professional, Chartered Mathematician and Charted Information Technology Professional, as well as a Fellow of the IET, British Computer Society and Irish Computer Society. He is President of IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing), founded by UNESCO in 1960, and Chair of IEEE UK & Ireland section. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Innovations in Systems and Software Engineering: a NASA Journal and Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society.