MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – Google Inc. and NASA Ames Research Center said Monday that they have finalized an agreement to deliver more of the space agency's imagery and information through the Internet's leading search engine.
The collaboration marks another step in a partnership announced 15 months ago when Google unveiled plans to build a 1 million-square-foot campus at the NASA center, located a few miles south of the company's Mountain View headquarters.
Under the arrangement, Ames will feed Google with its weather forecasting information, three-dimensional maps of the moon and Mars, and real-time tracking of the International Space Station and space shuttle flights so the pictures and data are available to anyone with an Internet connection.
"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," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said in a statement.
Google already draws upon some of NASA's imagery to provide Web surfers with interactive tours of Mars as part of a 9-month-old service.
Ames and Google also have vowed to work together to solve complex computing problems, including large-scale data management.
"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," Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in a statement.