Declic: Linux 2.6 on the International Space Station

The Declic experiment program on the International Space Station needs Linux to integrate reliably with a variety of microcontrollers with minimal intervention from the crew. Here's how the development is going.

Linux nowadays is a common tool for space-related projects, whereas several years ago, proprietary systems, such as VRTX, QNX or VxWorks, were leading. In addition, this past year even led to FlightLinux, a standard Linux distribution adapted to spacecraft environments. Open-source software is of crucial importance for these kinds of projects, and our experience with Linux has proven that it has a great future in space.

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Taco Walstra is a software engineer at the University of Amsterdam. He enjoys rock climbing and playing different types of lutes. He can be reached at