Feeds

NASA shares space with Google

Planet information

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

NASA has called on the omnipresence of Google to help it manage the profluence of data it expects to splurge forth from its Moon and Mars missions.

The Space Act Agreement, signed yesterday, will see Google brought in on an array of NASA computing headaches, including storage, massively distributed computing, and human-computer interfaces.

Details were scant as ever with Google, but the agreement will see collaboration on Google Earth-style public access projects. In a statement, the cluesome twosome revealed they will work on "weather visualisation and forecasting, high-resolution 3-D maps of the moon and Mars, real-time tracking of the International Space Station and the space shuttle". Some sort of virtual space exploration application is on the cards it seems.

NASA administrator Michael Griffin said: "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." Those lucky Americans.

Google's first mission is to make better use of what's already available from NASA online. Chris C Kemp, director of strategic business development at NASA's Ames Research Centre, said: "NASA has collected and processed more information about our planet and Universe than any other entity in the history of humanity. Even though this information was collected for the benefit of everyone, and much is in the public domain, the vast majority of this information is scattered and difficult for non-experts to access and to understand."

NASA will look to plug into Google's unrivalled data centre spend. In a conference call yesterday, the pair announced an agreement for Google to build a one million square foot data dungeon at the Ames Research Centre in California. The firm is headquartered not far from Ames, which was set up in Silicon Valley with the aim of tapping the region's role as a magnet for the best computing brains.

The centre recently said it had been forced to cough $3m in unexpected bandwidth and storage capacity upgrades to make its Columbia supercomputer feel at home. The top brass at the centre have long been making noises about the need for more private sector involvement.

Other than the obvious publicity coup, what's in the deal for Google? CEO Eric Schmidt rubbed his magic Christmas panto quote lamp: "Partnering with NASA made perfect sense for Google, as it has a wealth of technical expertise and data that will be of great use to Google as we look to tackle many computing issues on behalf of our users."

Some sort of boffin mindshare scheme would seem to be part of the pact, then. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service
AnD yEt mOre cRazy cAps to dEal wIth
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?