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Atlassian team software backs collaborative launch of SpaceX astronauts

Jira, Bitbucket and Confluence team software by Atlassian have made headlines for their role in supporting the SpaceX mission teams that launched two US astronauts into orbit over the weekend.

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to a rendezvous with the ISS, is being hailed as the start of a new era of “privately-funded spaceflight”.

Sophisticated real-time collaborative efforts from coding teams and scientific collaborators were crucial to the launch.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Atlassian, told the Australian newspaper: “In these complex times, teams working together are still achieving incredible feats.”

Atlassian markets Confluence as its “heart and soul”, an open and shared workspace where teams collaborate on projects, blog about important company updates or announcements, get answers to HR questions, and even automate financial reports.

“Confluence quickly connects you with the information and people you need, so work is visible and everything is within reach. Through a system of Confluence spaces and pages, your work is organised, information is streamlined, and you get more done in less time,” according to its product blog.

Jira is an issue and project-tracking suite of software, with cloud and mobile versions that enable teams to work from anywhere.

Bitbucket also supports distributed teams, with enterprise-scale code management features and functionality including Agile-friendly code review, CI/CD scaling and geoperformance improvement.

Other high-tech customers of Atlassian software include Pixar, PayPal, Airbnb, and Tesla.

According to the newspaper article, Atlassian is one of many tech outfits thriving despite COVID-19, with its share-price sitting near its all-time high of $190.21 in May.

“In March, Atlassian fast-tracked the planned rollout of free cloud editions of core products such as Jira and Confluence, which more employees are using as they work from home during the coronavirus shutdown. Atlassian also cut the prices of some core products,” it said.

Information Age also reported the story, noting that this was the first crewed US launch in 10 years. Commercial flights are expected to reduce the burden on taxpayers of space missions and exploration and NASA has once again begun to expand its space programme.

“Hurley and Behnken will spend the next couple of months working aboard the space station before they take their SpaceX craft back to Earth,” it said.

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