NASA is running a competition for coders to speed up the software it uses to design experimental aircraft.
This competition will share $55,000 (£42,000) between the top two people who can make its FUN3D software run up to 10,000 times faster.
The FUN3D code is used to model how air flows around simulated aircraft in a supercomputer.
The software was developed in the 1980s and is written in an older computer programming language called Fortran.
Doug Rohn, head of NASA’s transformative aeronautics concepts program that makes heavy use of the FUN3D code shared, “This is the ultimate ‘geek’ dream assignment.”
Mr Rohn said the software is used on the agency’s Pleiades supercomputer to test early designs of futuristic aircraft.
The software suite tests them using computational fluid dynamics, which make heavy use of complicated mathematical formulae and data structures to see how well the designs work.
Once designs are proved on the supercomputer, scale models are tested in wind tunnels and then finally experimental craft undergo real world testing.
NASA in a statement said that it would provide copies of the code to anyone taking part so they can analyze it, find bottlenecks and suggest modifications that could speed it up. NASA is looking for the code to run at least 10 times faster, but would like it quickened by thousands of times, if possible.
Any changes to FUN3D must not make it less accurate, added NASA.
The sensitive nature of the code clears that the competition is only open to US citizens who are over 18.