Google and NASA join forces

Google and NASA join forces

Summary: Could Google Earth be extended to cover other planets, or even the entire solar system?

TOPICS: Networking

Google plans to work with NASA on a number of research and development activities, the search giant announced on Wednesday.

The two organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines plans for cooperation in various areas, including supercomputing and "bio-info-nano convergence" — the combination of biological, information and nanotechnology research to make new materials. Google also plans to build an office, which will be "up to one million square feet" in size, in the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field.

Google and NASA provided a few details of what the collaboration could result in. "Imagine having a wide selection of images from the Apollo space mission at your fingertips whenever you want it. That's just one small example of how this collaboration could help broaden technology's role in making the world a better place," said Google's chief executive, Eric Schmidt.

"Our planned partnership presents an enormous range of potential benefits to the space program. Just a few examples are new sensors and materials from collaborations on bio-info-nano convergence, improved analysis of engineering problems as well as Earth, life and space science discoveries from supercomputing and data mining, and bringing entrepreneurs into the space programme," said NASA Ames Center director G. Scott Hubbard.

Other technologies that are likely to be on the wish list of space enthusiasts include an extension to Google Earth to cover other planets, or even the entire solar system.

Google and NASA also did not provide any details of how this venture will be funded and whether the results of this joint venture will be freely available, although both organisations emphasised that the main beneficiary of this collaboration will be the American public.

"While our joint efforts will benefit both organizations, the real winner will be the American public," said Hubbard.

Topic: Networking

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Uff.. Google will dominate the world....
  • That is really great and it just makes the whole universe in the hands, Maybe one day we will be able to watch video events of earth???who knows
  • Does anyone else think this sounds like a april fools, several months too early? How exactly can Google benefit NASA? And what does Google get out of this?
  • "the real winner will be the American public" - so what the hell is ZDnet. CO.UK covering this for, isn't bad enough Google Maps still has its best coverage for the US!
  • Why doesn't NASA just make ALL the Apollo images available throught the ftp PDS Planetary Data System we currently have? Currently only 98% of ALL Apollo images are avaibale for download via the web. has MORE Apollo images at his site than NASA/JPL/PDS combined. His work for NASA Ames with the MOC data set for the MER Rover site selection at NASA AMES was more professionally done than the principle investigator of the mission MSSS's output.

    I suggest that any 'sharing' of NASA data should be to ALL the American taxpayers who PAYED for that data before corporate profits of an entity that wasn't even in existance when Apollo happened.