Google/NASA Enter Space Pact
Google and NASA Ames Research Center have signed a “Space Act Agreement” to pool their collective technological expertise to address issues ranging from large-scale data management and massively distributed computing, to human-computer interfaces.
To answer the most obvious question first: No, a searchable UFO/Extraterrestrial database will not be part of the Space Act Agreement.
First, Google and Ames will focus on cataloguing NASA’s “most useful” information and making it available on the Internet. This includes real-time weather visualization and forecasting, high-resolution 3-D maps of the moon and Mars, and real-time tracking of the International Space Station and the space shuttle.
No, there was no mention of space-based contextual advertising.
“Partnering with NASA made perfect sense for Google, as it has a wealth of technical expertise and data that will be of great use to Google as we look to tackle many computing issues on behalf of our users,” said Google chief Eric Schmidt.
“This agreement between NASA and Google will soon allow every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars,” said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin at Headquarters in Washington.
“This innovative combination of information technology and space science will make NASA’s space exploration work accessible to everyone.”
The Google NASA team will also collaborate on incorporating NASA data sets in Google Earth, focusing on user studies and cognitive modeling for human computer interaction, and science data search.
“NASA has collected and processed more information about our planet and universe than any other entity in the history of humanity,” said Chris C. Kemp, director of strategic business development at Ames.
“Even though this information was collected for the benefit of everyone, and much is in the public domain, the vast majority of this information is scattered and difficult for non-experts to access and to understand.
“We are bringing together some of the best research scientists and engineers to form teams to make more of NASA’s vast information accessible.”
In September of 2005, Google revealed its plans to build a one million square-foot campus at Ames, hinting at a future collaboration. By building on federal ground, about five minutes from the Googleplex at Moffett Field, Google would not have to pay local and state property taxes.
And some of us more pie-in-the-sky Google enthusiasts predicted then that this was one step along the way to a satellite-based, worldwide Google WiFi Internet service provider. The GoogleNet is still out there, waiting for everything to come together. And why not? You can’t prove a negative, right? Even if Google has repeatedly said no.