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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NASA selects NMSU to continue collecting, preserving atmospheric data from planets

A $4.1 million dollar NASA award will allow New Mexico State University to continue operating the Atmospheres Node of NASA?s Planetary Data System (PDS) for the next five years.


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Astronomy professor Nancy Chanover will continue to lead NMSU?s operation of the Atmospheres Node of NASA?s Planetary Data System for the next five years. (NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips)

The university has led this effort for the past 20 years.

?This is a critical function aimed at the preservation, archiving and access to all NASA mission data,? said Nancy Chanover, astronomy professor in the College of Arts and Sciences who leads the project. ?The fact that NMSU was selected to continue the operation of the PDS Atmospheres Node is a testament to the strong contributions that we have made to the PDS archiving effort to date, and to our vision for future data access interfaces, user tools and work with planetary mission data providers.?

The Atmospheres Node of the PDS has been located at NMSU since 1995, and is responsible for the acquisition, preservation and distribution of all non-imaging atmospheric data from planetary missions, such as the Cassini mission to Saturn, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and the Lunar Atmosphere & Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission.

The Atmospheres Node is one of seven nodes aimed at collecting and distributing planetary data from nearly 50 NASA missions, as part of NASA?s archiving responsibilities under the Space Act of 1958.

The other nodes, operated through different institutions and facilities, archive data relating to geosciences, imaging, navigational and ancillary information, planetary plasma interactions, planetary rings and small bodies.

The archive is publicly accessible, providing the results of NASA?s missions to the general population and acting as a basic resource for scientists around the world. All PDS-curated products are peer-reviewed, documented and available online without charge.

For more information on NASA?s Planetary Data System, visit https://pds.nasa.gov.