According to Alonso Vera, the lead of the Ames Human-Computer Interaction Group, the single, universally accessible PRACA package is replacing a set of more than 40 different database systems that had been used over the past 30 years by the many different parts of that Shuttle ecosystem.

And, like a related database system known as Items for Investigation (IFI) that is used for tracking International Space Station issues, the new PRACA was written using open-source Bugzilla tools that will save NASA considerable amounts of time and money.

Vera wouldn’t say exactly how much the new systems cost to build, but he said they were an order of magnitude cheaper than what was being used before, closer to $100,000 than the $1 million it would have cost in the past.

More to the point, Vera explained, by using open-source Bugzilla tools, technicians will be able to make changes to either PRACA or IFI more or less on the fly, rather than having to submit any proposed changes to the publishers of proprietary software, steps that often took weeks to achieve.