Microsoft Partners With NASA To Put Images Online

    March 24, 2009

Microsoft has partnered with NASA to put the space agency’s most interesting content, such as high- resolution images of Mars and the moon online.

Microsoft’s online virtual telescope, WorldWide Telescope will feature the images. Under the agreement, NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California will process and host the data.

WorldWide Telescope will incorporate the data later in 2009 and feature imagery from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Launched in August 2005, MRO has been taking pictures of Mars with a high – resolution camera and five other instruments since 2006.

Tony Hey
Tony Hey

"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 Redmond, Wash.

"WorldWide Telescope serves as a powerful tool for computer science researchers, educators and students to explore space and experience the excitement of computer science."

Also available will be images from a camera aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), when publicly released this fall. Scheduled to launch in May, LRO will spend at least a year in low orbit about 30 miles above the lunar surface collecting detailed information about the lunar environment.

"NASA is excited to collaborate with Microsoft to share its portfolio of planetary images with students and lifelong learners," said S. Pete Worden, director of Ames.

"This is a compelling astronomical resource and will help inspire our next generation of astronomers."