Washington, Sept19: NASA has made available new higher resolution lunar imagery and maps which includes the agency"s multimedia content on the Google Moon Web site.
Updates include new content from the Apollo missions, including dozens of embedded panoramic images, links to audio clips and videos, and descriptions of the astronauts" activities during the missions.
The agency said the new content is overlaid on updated, higher-resolution lunar maps. Detailed charts of different regions of the moon suitable for use by anyone simulating a lunar mission have also been added, it said in a statement.
“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. This will make it easier for scientists everywhere to make lunar data more available and accessible," said Chris C. Kemp, director of strategic business development at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.
The statement further said Google Moon's visible imagery and topography have been aligned with the recently updated lunar coordinate system and it can be used for scientifically accurate mission planning and data analysis.
The new site is designed to be user- friendly and encourage the exchange of data and ideas among scientists and amateur astronomers, the statement said.
Incidentally, the announcement closely follows the release of new NASA content in Google Earth, including photographs taken by NASA astronauts and imagery from NASA's Earth observing satellite sensors, such as the Sea-viewing Wide Field of View Sensor, Landsat and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer.
Astronaut photography was developed in collaboration with the Crew Earth Observations team, part of the Image Science and Analysis Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. Satellite imagery of Earth was developed in partnership with the Earth Observatory team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The alliance was accomplished under a Space Act Agreement signed in December 2006 by Google and NASA's Ames Research Center.