NASA, Google bring more of the moon to Earth

Goal is to make lunar data more accessible

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has made new higher-resolution images and maps of the moon as well as multimedia content available on Google's Moon Web site.

The updated information includes new material from the Apollo space missions, including embedded panoramic images, links to videos and audio clips, and information about the astronauts' tasks on those missions, said NASA in a statement.

NASA also added detailed charts of various regions of the moon that can be used by anyone simulating a lunar mission, particularly scientists and amateur astronomers.

"NASA's objective is for Google Moon to become a more accurate and useful lunar mapping platform that will be a foundation for future Web-based moon applications, much like the many applications that have been built on top of Google Maps," said Chris C. Kemp, director of strategic business development at NASA's Ames Research Center, in the statement. "This will make it easier for scientists everywhere to make lunar data more available and accessible."

Closer to home, NASA's Earth content, including photographs taken by NASA astronauts and imagery from NASA's Earth observing satellite sensors, is also available on Google Earth.

The alliance between Google and NASA was accomplished under a Space Act Agreement signed in December 2006.

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Linda Rosencrance

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