The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected twenty proposals for open source projects, offering students stipends to write code for these projects. The organisation's 'Summer of Code in Space' (Socis) is organised for the first time this year.
Socis is inspired by Google's Summer of Code. ESA wants to increase the interest of students in space projects and also hopes that it will raise its profile among open source developers.
Students are paired with a mentor or mentors from the twenty software projects. Working on such projects gives students exposure to real-world software development scenarios. "In turn, the participating projects are able to more easily identify and bring in new developers", ESA explains on the Socis website.
One of the selected projects is to port Rock, software used for developing robotic systems, to RTEMS, a real-time operating system that is widely used by the space agency. Another project is to improve the TCP/IP stack of RTEMS by "providing support for functional equivalents of multiple BSD kernel constructs".
A third example of an ESA project that will be worked on this summer is to improve Kstars, an open source desktop planetarium application. Students can for example write a "What's interesting in the sky" box, that will suggest users interesting things to look at in the sky.
The deadline for students that want to apply for working on one of the twenty projects passed yesterday.