Two Peas in a Pod: Google and NASA

Dennis Faas's picture

Between Google's acquisitions and new program launches, the company has still managed to find time to create a partnership with space conglomerate NASA.

Google and NASA have come together to sign the Space Act Agreement. The agreement will enable the two companies to collaboratively develop a system which will make it easy for people to find weather forecasting data, view high-resolution 3D maps of the moon and Mars, and track the International Space Station in real time. (Source:

Although the partnership may not seem to be the most natural fit at first, it actually makes perfect sense. Google has defined its mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." NASA's body of information is certainly rich, but could use some help on the accessibility front. The partnership will attempt to rearrange NASA's data in a more user-friendly manner. (Source:

Google and NASA are not total strangers. The two have previously collaborated on the mapping application Google Earth. Google Earth is a product of the Global Connection Project, a venture that combined the skills of Carnegie Mellon University, NASA, Google, and National Geographic. (Source:

Google and NASA expect to release their collaborative results rather soon. A NASA spokesperson has revealed that the public will see results starting in 2007. The information will be available through both companies' websites and products.

Pete Worden, Director of the Ames Research Center, the NASA group in charge of coordinating the partnership with Google, has expressed his satisfaction with the deal. "We're quite excited about this moving along very rapidly," he said. (Source:

In the future, NASA is interested in collaborating with Google on computer science research projects. NASA is specifically interested in large scale data management, massively parallel computing, and human-computer interfaces.

The Space Act Agreement may serve as a good testing ground for the two companies to determine how their partnership can grow in the future. (Source:

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