Yes, it's Nerd Nirvana. NASA and Google will work together on "large-scale data management and massively distributed computing," the two organizations said today. The agreement calls for the data Jedi from Google and NASA to jointly create web-enabled applications showcasing the space agency's trove of research and images, powered by Google's immense data center infrastructure.
Google will also build a 1 million square foot "campus" within the NASA Ames Research Park. Details on the facility - such as how much might be dedicated to technical data center space - were not outlined today. "We're still in the preliminary planning stages," said Megan Smith, Google's business development director.
"This agreement between NASA and Google will soon allow every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars," said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin at Headquarters in Washington. "This innovative combination of information technology and space science will make NASA's space exploration work accessible to everyone."
"Google and NASA share a common desire-to bring a universe of information to people around the world," said Eric Schmidt, Google chief executive officer. "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."
As the first in a series of joint collaborations, Google and Ames will focus on making the most useful of NASA's information available on the Internet. Real-time weather visualization and forecasting, high-resolution 3- D maps of the moon and Mars, real-time tracking of the International Space Station and the space shuttle will be explored in the future.
Today's news is focused on the potential benefits of the agreement between Google and NASA. As this relationship unfolds, we'll be watching for details about the facilities, which are bound to test or extend the boundaries of practical high-performance computing and data center infrastructure.