Eclipse supports developing applications based on the Rich Client Platform, which is the basis for the Eclipse IDE as well. NASA is using the Rich Client Platform to build Mission Control tools and analysis applications. The NASA supervisor wrote a foreword for the excellent book “Eclipse Rich Client Platform: Designing, Coding, and Packaging Java Applications”. He compares building an application with launching a mission to Mars, where you have a payload (such as a little robot car) delivered by a launch vehicle (a big missile). The payload (the application) is the most important, but the launch vehicle (Eclipse RCP) is every bit as important for the success of the mission as well. Read the full foreword here.