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Google And NASA To Collaborate On Technology 151

Posted by Zonk
from the where-no-goog-has-gone-before dept.
Mike Peel writes "The BBC reports that Google will be assisting NASA with new technology from a campus facility in the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field." From the article: "As part of the venture, Google will develop one million square feet of real estate at the Nasa Ames research centre. The centre, built in 1939, has been at the heart of the US space program for many years, conducting research into the Apollo moon missions between 1963 and 1972. Nasa recently unveiled plans to make another moon landing by 2020. Examples of areas of potential collaboration include the development of new types of remote sensors and improving analysis of engineering problems." More details available from the official press release and MSNBC.
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Google And NASA To Collaborate On Technology

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  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:08AM (#13674792) Homepage Journal
    A giant leap for google kind towards the Copernicus Center [google.com]
  • Old News. (Score:5, Funny)

    by HugePedlar (900427) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:08AM (#13674794) Homepage
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They're going to replace all of NASA's chairs with inflatable exercise balls.
  • Google has secretly been launching recon satellites into orbit around the moon, and will soon be unveliling their Google Moon satellite maps.
  • Moffett (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:12AM (#13674815) Homepage Journal
    One million square feet! is certainly a lots of real estate space (no pun intended) that in the South Bay Area has to be worth a not insignificant chunk of change. Granted, Moffett field sits on an amazing amount of land and although I have not been back to the base for years, I imagine it is still some pretty choice real estate that just so happens to be right up the road from Google.

    It also might be of interest to note that Moffett is right next door to a former NIMA (NRO) facility and given Google's interest in mapping the surface of the Earth and other remote sensing activities, might be pretty convenient.

    • Re:Moffett (Score:5, Informative)

      by josephtd (817237) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:27AM (#13674888)
      Yea, well there is now a surplus of of office space around the Moffett Field area. My office is over on Shoreline and there are For Lease signs everywhere.
      • Interesting. Do you think it is because of all the former defense dept. space that has been opened up for development after base closures creating a local market glut in the S. Bay or do you think that it might be the real estate bubble beginning to burst for the Bay Area?

        Perhaps its good that I turned down that job offer at Stanford last year? :-)

    • Re:Moffett (Score:5, Funny)

      by DingerX (847589) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:20AM (#13675177) Journal
      Big-ass airships man. They got a hangar for one. The Navy's abandoned airships for 65 years -- probably as a result of a horrendous Ronald Reagan movie -- it's time for Google to bring it back and show us how it's done. I mean, how cool is that? A Zeppelin dude, to travel in style. Stick inside a wet bar, lounge area, and sell tickets via invite only (n.b., boarding verification requires a celphone). Paint it up with a google logo on the side. Will it make money? Will it crash in a horrific fireball? Who cares! Just slap a big "BETA" logo on the side.
  • Reasoning (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:15AM (#13674830)
    Nasa recently unveiled plans to make another moon landing by 2020
    And why not, they've looked for Osama every other place that he isn't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:15AM (#13674833)
    It's just a glorified real-estate leasing deal, which will use up some of the office space created by the latest layoffs at NASA-Ames:

    http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/127 63469.htm [siliconvalley.com]

     
    • Larger parts of this are public relations, cool factor, and the real, hard science potential. Even if office space made it this deal with these terms on this day, this is not about real estate.

      Where did Velma go to work after Scooby Doo? NASA.

      Where will Dib go to work after Invader Zim [mwctoys.com]? Google.

      <sigh> and what ever happened to Penny (Inspector Gadget) ...

    • The only place it says "Google" on that page is in the Google Ad on the bottom.
    • My thoughts exactly. Besides the supercomputing stuff, I can hardly see any relation between Google's and NASA's mission.

      There's a very important piece of information in the article:

      "The agreement would allow the company to design and develop a campus for whatever needs it envisions.

      Google has been hoping to expand for at least a year, combing the Bay Area for suitable sites, including downtown San Francisco and San Jose."


      I guess they took the hint from George Lucas [sfgate.com]
  • The bigger Google gets the closer this world gets to becoming a better place.

    3 cheers for Sergey and Larry!

    "Do no evil!"
    "Do no evil!"
    "Do no evil!"
  • "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." So I guess that's the next Google venture. Good thing is that they're supporting the ailing yet very crucial or
  • by Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:17AM (#13674841)
    I can see it now. We need to find more planets. I know, we'll just Google for them!

    All right, I'm done. Warn your children! This is what happens when your out of work!

  • GMOONGLE (Score:3, Funny)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:18AM (#13674853) Homepage Journal
    Small step for a huge firm to help NASA with some real estate.

    Huge freaking text ad on the MOON!

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:20AM (#13674858)

    They really are trying to search everything, aren't they?

  • by cheezemonkhai (638797) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:23AM (#13674874) Homepage
    This brings a whole new meaning to Google Earth.

    I mean we all know their main business is adverts ;)
  • ...What's Google getting out of this deal? Money? Land? Connections to the government?

    And on that note, I for one, welcome our new space-searching overlords.
  • they're no rocket scientists. How in the heck can a search engine help NASA? What could Google possibly offer?
    • Well, to make that big search engine, they needed a big supercomputer, which they built themselves by networking a lot of computers together, didn't they? I mean, they might beat NSA at raw computing power. And a supercomputer, programmed differently, could run all sorts of high-power simulations and could correlate all sorts of sensory data.

      Then there is the fact that Google is so adaptable that simply having them on the team gives NASA a boost. Google has done pretty much everything Internet related
      • And a supercomputer, programmed differently, could run all sorts of high-power simulations and could correlate all sorts of sensory data.

        "Could" is irrelevant. The processing power is a lot cheaper and easier to come by than the people necessary to do the science. I'm really not feeling this one.

        Then there is the fact that Google is so adaptable that simply having them on the team gives NASA a boost.

        In PR, maybe, which seems to be what they need most. It's almost like the NASA PHB's were sitting aro

      • The NASA Advance Supercomputing (NAS) Division is, in fact, located at Ames. One of its principal assets is the Columbia supercomputer, a 10,240-node SGI Altix supercluster of Itanium 2 processors. In fact, it does do amazing simulations which would make the Google folks salivate. Google has the computing power and computer science background; NASA has massive finite element physics simulation background and an intelligent systems group at Ames. This is one of those rare amazing cases where one could ac
    • Yes, they are extremely bright. I went to a seminar at Stanford
      about a year ago, where Burt Rutan spoke. He mentioned being in some forum of famous people with the Google founders and others. After the meeting, one of the Google founders approached him and asked some very insightful questions about the commercial space technology. Rutan's reaction was: these guys have really done their homework, they know what they're talking about, don't be surprised if some portion of their billions is invested in tha
    • I think read in an interview with Vint Cerf (who also works for nasa)when he was hired by google, that he would like to work on systems and protocals to allow differnt space ships to talk to each other and exchange information. I think this might be the start of that.
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:32AM (#13674915) Journal
    "Mission Control, this is Mars Pathfinder 1, we are experiencing minor power fluctuations on bus C and require some diagnostic advice, over..."

    "Pathfinder 1, roger that, wait one..."

    "Pathfinder, this is Mission Control, please surf to history.nasa.gov/ap13rb/ch4pt.2.pdf. If you need a copy of Acrobat Reader please advise and I will supply the URL, over..."
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:34AM (#13674922) Homepage
    Google wants to do so many cool things, from scanning the world's books to helping us in space. But now that it's public it's only a matter of time before the stock holders start pulling back the reins. In the narrow view of the stock market it doesn't matter if you help people. It doesn't even matter if you make a profit. The sole thing that matters to the stock market is whether you're growing. That's it. If you're not focusing on that, you're out.
  • by KeiserSoze (657078) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:41AM (#13674943) Homepage
    For a second there when I saw "Google and NASA collaborating on technology" I had a vain hope that it would be a reference to NASA World Wind. For those unsure (any Google Earth users), NASA World Wind [nasa.gov] is basically the same thing, only that it was around much earlier and (more importantly) it's open source software. On the down side, no expensive up-to-date imagery.
    • I had the same first impression. Who knows, maybe after all they will merge both their code base and their datasets. The result would be impressive: easy navigation of detailed global maps (with elevation!) and extensible data overlays! I'm sure Google would have few objections in making Earth opensource. Google Earth, I mean, the application, not the planet...
    • I have to say I find WorldWind a lot more attractive graphically - the bitmap scaling in Google Earth just reminds me of Mode 7 on the SNES...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:42AM (#13674950)

    The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence will be replaced by Google for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence.
  • by binaryDigit (557647) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @08:48AM (#13674979)
    One of the first fruits of the Google/NASA pairing will be the gShuttle. The existing space shuttle will be modified to store 10x the amount the previous shuttle could (though no details yet from NASA as to why they need that much space and if they'd actually use it). The new shuttle would also bring up paid advertisments based on various criteria, the formula for which Google has not made public. Another gShuttle innovation would be a radically simplier control and navigation system. The pilots will not simply type in their commands to the shuttle (e.g. "rearThrusters:fire burntime:10"). One particularly interesting feature is the "I feel lucky" button on the navigation console, no specifics as to the exact function of this button was put forth by the Google spokesdrone.
    • A NASA spokesperson has already mentioned that
      The new "I'm feeling lucky" navigation button will get you to a random planet.

      Just a few minutes ago CNN reported some UFO crashing somewhere around Redmond, could you guess where?

    • it will never get out of beta
    • "One particularly interesting feature is the "I feel lucky" button on the navigation console, no specifics as to the exact function of this button was put forth by the Google spokesdrone."

      It's simple: you just type your destination and click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, then you end up there, or at least you end up somewhere.
      • It's important that you don't confuse it with the "I'm getting lucky" button, which draws shutters over all the windows, dims the lights, and plays Berry Manalo music. While romantic, this has severe drawbacks during a landing sequence.
  • gMoon (Score:2, Funny)

    by jgionet (828557)
    right on! now I'll be able to to search the moon and it'll be powered by google! next it'll be the gRocket!
  • by Ranger (1783)
    With NASA's satellite mapping capability and Googles search engine. They can help Jimmy Buffet find that lost shaker of salt.
  • by rlp (11898) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:07AM (#13675076)
    Bell Labs was heavily involved in the Apollo moon landing program. In both a technical capacity and a project management capacity. I remember early on, going to a meeting for new employees where all the senior managers introduced themselves and talked about their background. Years earlier, most of them had worked together on the Apollo moon landing.

    Google has formed Google Labs including a lot of folks formerly from Bell Labs. It's interesting that NASA is working with them on the Moon Landing 2.0. Hopefully, without the bureaucracy of an AT&T, Google Labs will be more successful at translating R&D into marketable product. So far, their early track record looks very promising.
    • It seems to me that the ex-Bell Labs folks that Google hired would be Computer Science types. The Bell Labs folks involved in space missions would have included physicists, electrical, chemical and mechanical engineers as well as computer geeks, and probably others as well. Has Google hired experts in those other fields?

      [disclosure: formerly worked at Bell Labs, speculate in Google stock]
  • It is a merger... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by insignificant1 (872511) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:13AM (#13675122)
    "...bio-info-nano convergence..." -Google Press Release [google.com]

    A merger of the buzzwords that drive the investors of today.

  • NASA has called in private companies before. IBM got to keep a good deal of technology they developed in the 1960s & 1970s for NASA. One of the most famous program in particular for the mainframe is JES and a version of JES is still used by every IBM mainframe system. Banks, insurance companies, and other large manufacturers still depend heavily on software initially developed to put someone on the moon. It's pretty cool when you think about it and I hope Google will get the same type of benefit fro
  • Results 1 - 10 of about 337,000,000 for hotel. (0.11 seconds)

    Your search was limited to: Solar System / Earth.
    Would you like to extend your search to other locations?

    Please note that it may take up to a couple trillions years for our Googled-Nasa Probes (tm) (beta) to scan the most distant, not yet explored galaxies. Thank you for your patience.
  • Google and NASA in the same /. story! Will they be using linux or some other open source software? If so, then we may have the Perfect /. Story!!
  • Censorship (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Google has already demonstrated its ability to censor searches for governments. Given the current political climate I wonder if Google will be compelled to censor searches in a way that will insure NASA's version of science remains the "official science" of America.

    If people can't find what you published to read it, you perish.
  • Is it me or this is just a way for the US Government to channel money into Googles accounts??

    Wonder want they're really paying?
  • Next news.. Google builds engine to search the elusive green martians :) Way to go Google...
  • by asky (815613) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:37AM (#13675350)

    As you head out into the solar system and attempt to settle elsewhere, one of the problems is that you won't be able to google a query back to Earth and get a lightning fast response. (Well, uh, perhaps as fast as lightning, but that could be seconds, minutes, or hours....) You no longer can present every problem to Mission Control and wait for an answer. And you probably will not have trained for every scenario.

    Survival of a small colony of smart people on the Moon or Mars could partly depend on taking large portions of your planetary knowledge base with you and looking for solutions that others have figured out but you haven't. (It also is a form of taking your culture with you.) The trick is to do it without rooms of massive power-hungry clusters, but for a smaller group of users. I can imagine Google working with NASA to pull some of these technologies together. Things like nanotechnology, one of the focal points of work at Ames, will be key to making it happen.

  • For all their mucking about in China and such they'll help Nasa use technology built in the 21st century.
  • Google-bubble (Score:2, Interesting)

    by anubis__ (168382)
    Does anyone else think that maybe we're just in a Google-bubble, much like the internet bubble of the late 90s? I mean c'mon! Yeah, they wrote a search engine and they've made enough money to create a developer utopia where their programmers can be paid to work on thier own personal projects. Yeah, they have several other products out which utilize the internet in various ways. So now NASA, a government agency, is looking to spend taxpayer dollars to team up with Google... so they can bring the Apollo m
  • by Bitsy Boffin (110334) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @09:55AM (#13675514) Homepage
    Ok, Google is a company based around providing Search services, and they do that well. All thier services are in some way related to information mining (searching), from web search, to geographical search, it's all search in the end.

    But what incredible need does NASA have for a partner to provide search? Sure, data mining is a useful tool for NASA I'm sure, but why do they need Google to actually set up shop there with them to do this?

    Seems to me like Google is expanding out of it's domain. And that's not usually a good thing. Pick one thing and do it well, don't try to be Jack of all trades.
  • by alispguru (72689) <bane AT gst DOT com> on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:00AM (#13675552) Journal
    NASA has big archives of space data, and they're only going to get bigger - the next generation of earth observing satellites are expected to generate 4 petabytes/year [noaa.gov]. That's 4 * 10**15, folks - think 8,000 500 GB drives. Per year. For at least the next ten years. One year is on the order of the size of Google's web cache.

    Current archives are merely huge, and off-the-shelf databases are having trouble indexing it all - I've heard of a database holding just metadata (date/time, geographic extent, data type, resolution, format, etc.) for millions of observations where queries were taking tens of seconds, and this was with top-of-the-line commercial database software with all the spatial search bells and whistles.

    If anybody can come up with a better way to store and index this stuff, it's Google.
    • Well, you have gotta understand that Google and NASA work on entirely different types of data:

      Google = Web pages/multi-media content that is hyperlinked
      NASA = Large relational tables storing petabytes of data from sensors and telescopic readings...

      The techniques for mining are different in both cases.. when they talk about "Bio/Nano" it refers to entirely new domain.. Its not as easy as plug-n-play with different domains. Agreed, Google has mastered the algorithms for ranking and extracting data from Web-
  • You mean... (Score:2, Funny)

    by uberchicken (121048)
    we can just google for aliens now? Seti must be pissed.
  • Beta (Score:3, Funny)

    by fremar (527009) on Thursday September 29, 2005 @10:38AM (#13675885)
    Will this mean all future NASA projects will be in a near-permanent Beta release? Oh wait, nothing new there...
  • In related news, Google will team up with SETI by updating its search engines to find extraterrestrial intelligence. When asked about the upcoming collaboration, the head of SETI remarked, "I can't believe we didn't think of this sooner! This will be much easier than mucking about with signal analysis and Fourier Transforms".

    Testing is slated to begin in Q4 2005 by searching for intelligent life here on Earth.

  • Google Moon (Score:2, Funny)

    by Ruphuz (817865)

    Well, I hope the collaboration does not imply NASA is going to land their ships with the aid of Google's close-range moon maps. Last I heard, they had some 'holes' in their technology.

  • I for one, welcome our Google overlords...
    PS when's lunch?
  • Search query: a l i e n s -> I'm Feeling Lucky

    *****searching

    404 Not Found -> Back -> Search

    *****searching

    10 of 1000000000000000000 results found

    Froogle results: Would you like to buy a new shuttle? Only $17,000,000.00!

    Search results ranked in order:

    Aliens found on Mars! -> *CLICK!*

    404 Not Found -> Back -> Google Cache

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www. csicop.org/si/8512/face-on-mars.jpg&imgrefurl=http ://www.csicop.org/si/8512/face-on-mars.html&h=200& w=200 [google.com]
  • The real motivation for this partnership is that Larry and Sergei get a big runway so they can take their shiny new plane to work...
  • The Famed Google and the Almighty NASA!

    Slashdotters, er, I mean Google Zealot must be ejaculating with joy right now.
  • Google and NASA are both very close to each other, in Mountain View, CA (which is where I live, less than 2 miles from both of them). Google is currently in the offices built by Silicon Graphics, which is a pretty nice place by Silicon Valley standards. Most companies around here are in nondescript office parks. The Google/SGI building is large, uniquely designed, and colorful.

    Google is North of Shoreline Blvd, South of Shoreline Blvd is Moffet Field. It used to be a Navy facility, and its most promin
  • Just enter the part of the universe you'd like to search and click "I Feel Lucky!"
  • With all the Google stories lately, there's always the inevitable comment: "Why do we LOVE Google and HATE Microsoft?" This is an example why. They do cool things, work on ideas beneficial to the public and they're collaborating with an agency that's respected by the American public.

    With that said, I'm trying to understand Google's roll in this. I don't think it's completely selfless. Considering how much data NASA has to process, I think Google's tools fit right in (since they, too, have so much data th
    • "Considering how much data NASA has to process, I think Google's tools fit right in . . ."

      I remember a TV news piece about NASA not having the capability to process the data in it s collection due to the bandwidth of the tape backup system at the time and the shelf life and quantity of the tapes. This is the sort of data set that Google seems to look for in any market they can conceive of.

      Since this data is work of the federal government it should be Public domain as well. The Public would benefit form

  • It’s supposed to read “Google and NSA to Collaborate on Technology.”

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