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Microsoft To Make NASA Content Available Through WorldWide Telescope

Microsoft announced this week that it's partnering with NASA to develop and deploy technology to deliver planetary images and data over the Internet. According to Microsoft, the partnership will allow space information to be housed on the company's WorldWide Telescope, an online virtual telescope that incorporates Web 2.0 technologies.

"This collaboration between Microsoft and NASA 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, in a statement released Tuesday. "WorldWide Telescope serves as a powerful tool for computer science researchers, educators and students to explore space and experience the excitement of computer science."

According to the terms of the arrangement, NASA's Ames Research Center will "process and host more than 100 terabytes, or 20,000 DVDs, of data. WorldWide Telescope will incorporate the data later in 2009 and feature imagery from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)," as well as images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is scheduled to launch in May on a year-long mission to collect data on the lunar surface to support later human exploration.

"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 in Washington, in a statement released Tuesday.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters.

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