NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

One of the world's most popular photo collections -- images of the planets produced by the U.S. space program -- goes online in a central location today as part of a joint project between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

NASA's Planetary Photojournal, accessible on the Internet via the World Wide Web, enables access to NASA's archive of planetary images for viewing and use by the public, scientists, educators and publishers.

"This Web site opens a fresh window on the planets and what we have learned from them," said Wesley T. Huntress Jr., NASA associate administrator for space science. "Communication is the final and probably the most important step in the scientific process. Using some of the same computer technology that helps us generate new discoveries, this partnership with the USGS will allow us to share this knowledge with people everywhere."

"The new system currently provides access to images residing in collections at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at the USGS, Flagstaff, AZ, along with captions and other information such as mapping data," said Sue LaVoie, a member of the development team at JPL. The site features thumbnail and browse-size versions of the images for viewing and provides user-friendly digital downloading of images in a variety of formats and sizes.

Access is provided not only to the most popular images but to the entire primary image data sets from various space missions, LaVoie added. Links are provided to commercial vendors for ordering hard copies of photographs, slides, CD-ROMs and other imaging data products from the collection.

Other links in the new system allow users to jump to and browse other space image data collections, LaVoie said. Pointers and links to other sites, such as space mission home pages, also are featured.

New images released from NASA missions will be placed on the system in parallel with release to the news media.

The URL for the new NASA Planetary Photojournal is:

At JPL, the Planetary Photojournal development team was led by LaVoie and included Eric DeJong, Elizabeth Duxbury, Myche McAuley, Edward McNevin III and Jurrie van der Woude, while the USGS team was led by Larry Soderblom and included Eric Eliason and Haig Morgan.

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