New York: US space agency Nasa has entered into a collaboration with software giant Microsoft Corporation to develop a new technology which will make planetary images and data accessible worldwide through Internet.
The joint venture will work to develop a new technology to make Nasa’s content, including high-resolution images and data from Mars and the Moon, available on WorldWide Telescope, Microsoft’s online virtual telescope.
“Making NASA’s scientific and astronomical data more accessible to the public is a high priority for NASA, especially given the new administration’s recent emphasis on open government and transparency,” said Ed Weiler, associate administrator for Nasa’s Science Mission Directorate.
Under the agreement, Nasa’s Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, California, will process and host more than 100 terabytes of data, enough to fill 20,000 DVDs.
WorldWide Telescope will incorporate the data and feature images sent from Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The tool will also have images from a camera aboard Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, scheduled to be launched this May.
“This collaboration will enable people around the world to explore new images of the Moon and Mars in a rich, interactive environment through the WorldWide Telescope,” said Tony Hey, Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft External Research.