Penguins (Multimedia Management System for Astronauts)
Penguins (Astronauts Photo-Album Web)
Customer ESA/EAC (European Space Agency / European Astronaut Center)
Objectives Development of a database and software tools for the management of a photographic album for the astronauts, so that they could upload the pictures taken during their training and view them using any Web browser connected to Internet.
Development Status
  • First Web-based version (ASP) version completed and delivered during first half of 1999.
  • New version under study after development of a prototype (July 2000) extending its objectives.
  • Possible new contract to be issued to continue development of the new version.

Project history


  • January-July: Developed and delivered a first version, based on the requirements provded by Paolo Nespoli.


  • July: Performed several changes to produce a functional prototype of a new system, based on the requirements collected by Natacha Callens from several astronauts to provide them with support tools to facilitate the generation of presentations.
  • 13-July: Presentation of the new prototype to Thomas Reiter and other astronauts and staff of EAC.
  • Setup of the system in a new Web server where the astronauts will start using it.
  • New requirements will be collected while study for a new project is ongoing.

Sample screens (version 2.0)

Fig. 1: Cover page and main menu
This is the provisional cover page,
with a brief introduction to what is the
Penguins system.
The main menu provides a quick access
to the main modules of the system.

Fig. 2: Browse table of documents
This tool provides a direct view on the contents
of all the documents stored in the database.
It's a multipage, sortable table showing
a thumbnail or icon representing the document
plus some columns describing it.

Fig. 3: Document description and view
The document description shows the main
attributes of the document, and permist to open it.
Users can also read or add comments.

Fig. 4: Zoom graphic documents
Graphical documents can be
displayed in different resolutions:
thumbnail, small, big and original.

Fig. 5: Document form
Each document details can be edited using
this form, which permits provide reference code,
title, long description, keywords, etc.

Fig. 6: Thesaurus
A tree of classified keywords provides
a  quick way to search for documents.

Fig. 7: Search form
Users can search documents using a
search form where any combination
of different criteria can be entered:
reference code, title, date, keywords, etc.

Fig. 8: Search results
This is a typical presentation of the results of any
search, no matter if it's done using the multicriteria
form, the Thesaurus, or the other quick indexes.
It shows a table of document thumbnails or icons,
with a basic description. Clicking on any opens
the detailed description of the document.

Fig. 9: Add new documents
Users can upload at any time new documents.
This form permits to upload at once up to 10 files,
providing at the same time some common
information (author, library and keywords).
New documents are added to an Inbox
where users can go later to edit each one and
provide additional description for each one.

Fig. 10: Auxiliar table: Libraries
Libraries represent collections of documents.
Users can add or modify libraries at any time,
and they can also use this table to search
quickly for all documents of a certain library.

Fig. 11: Auxiliar table: Types
This table permits to associate the different
types of files with an icon and name.
Users can add or modify types at any time,
and they can also use this table to search
quickly for all documents of a certain type.

Fig. 12: Auxiliar table: Keywords
Users can add new keywords at any time.
This table can be used also to perform an
alphabetical search of keywords, permiting to look
at all the documents classified under each one.

Tags: ESA

Return to the index