Uses of DBs in Space!

by Kaushal S
This journal is about James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and how it uses database out in space. JWST is an infrared-optimized space telescope designed to study stars and galaxies. This journal also talks about how their concept uses Extensible Markup language (XML) to communicate with the database. By using XML it allows the freedom for JWST to work independently from its ground system counterparts and still be compatible with the structure. JWST database works simultaneously with 24 different labs which are regionally spread across nation and are equipped with XML structured databases. XML allows changing of information between databases and makes the process very easy to perform without affecting other systems on the ground. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has considered this route in better assisting their projects which meets 90% of their needs compared to other “Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)” and also it has helped cut down cost in that department.

I think that after reading this journal, using XML makes a lot more sense than anything else because it is very user friendly, it can be used to make certain changes to system which needs updates and others can be kept unaffected. On the other hand when it is not being used for example SQL it causes a lot of errors when some changes are made. For our third project we were told to make some changes but our dataset system didn’t allow doing so, I had to delete my database and upload it several time to make it work. I hope in future we get to try something new like this which will allow us to make changes to our database without any hassles.


Detter, R. (2004). Aerospace Conference, 2004. Proceedings. 2004 IEEE. XML – James Webb space telescope database issues, lessons, and status 5, 7.

4 thoughts on “Uses of DBs in Space!”

  1. Thanks, Kaulshall, I didn’t know until now that data in an XML format could make changes to a program.

  2. It interesting to learn that XML can ultimately cut the cost of a department. This language appears to be very flexible given that it can easily communicate with different databases. Thanks for the info!

  3. Very informative article outlining the implementation of XML. It is a very interesting use of the technology and provides a good comparison between the pros and cons of SQL and XML.

  4. Awesome article. Didn’t think that using XML could be used in such a way. I think it’s great that despite all the cuts for a space program we’re still finding ways to cut costs where applicable to still look up at the stars every now and then.

Comments are closed.