NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

In its more than 40 years of existence, NASA has grabbed hundreds of thousands of snapshots of our solar system and beyond. But this tremendous image resource of knowledge and wonder often seems beyond the reach of both the general public and the science community.

Methods for everyone to access NASA's rich library of space images through just a few keystrokes will be the topic of a free lecture on Thursday, November 18, 7 p.m., at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, and on Friday, November 19, 7 p.m. at The Forum at Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. Seating is first-come, first-served, and parking is free.

"Public Access to Mission Data" will be presented by four JPL space image data specialists who will provide an overview of "Welcome to the Planets," an educational CD-ROM encompassing 190 images acquired over approximately 20 years of planetary exploration. An online version containing selected images is available at

Speakers will also describe NASA's Planetary Photojournal, which uses Web technology to support a historical image archive. More than 100,000 users access this site each month. This service, designed to provide users with easy access to publicly released images from various solar system exploration programs, can be accessed at

An additional topic will be the Planetary Image Atlas, through which the public can search the vast amounts of primary, raw data collected by numerous planetary missions. Designed to provide access to all of the unprocessed data collected on NASA missions, it permits scientists to search for data on various planetary targets. It can be accessed at

The speakers are associated with NASA's Planetary Data System, which archives and distributes digital data from NASA missions, astronomical observations and laboratory measurements (, and JPL's Multimission Image Processing Lab, which provides science instrument data display, analysis, visualization, archival data record production and photo processing for NASA's planetary missions and for the Planetary Data System (

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. This lecture is part of the von Karman Lecture Series, sponsored by the JPL Media Relations Office. Details: (818) 354-5011,

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