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Website of the Week — NASA Images


Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations. Our web guide is VOA's Art Chimes.

The U.S. space agency NASA is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and they've just launched a website that aims to collect a whole universe worth of pictures and other media at one address: NASAimages.org.

"We have approximately 140,000 images," says Debbie Rivera, who led the NASA team that has just launched this great new site, which is being done jointly with the Internet Archive. That is the nonprofit organization that collects and distributes copies of web pages, live music recordings, public domain books, and many other digital artifacts.

The collection includes both still images and video.

Of course, NASA has posted many of its images online for a long time, but they've been spread out at the websites of the Kennedy Space Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and many other NASA installations. If you didn't know how NASA is organized, it might have been a challenge to find pictures of Saturn's rings or of man's first steps on the moon.

"The advantage to put[ting] it into one spot is really usability and making it easier for the public as well as NASA to be able to find images. You have it all together with one, hopefully, easy way to search for what you're looking for," says Rivera.

The Internet Archive will be hosting and managing the servers, and they have considerable experience in digitizing media. They were our very first Website of the Week, back in 2004.

The space agency plans to add new pictures to the NASA images website as they come in, as well as gradually upload older material from their archives, going back to the earliest days of space flight and space exploration.

Accessing 140,000 or more items is easy, thanks to a variety of different browsing and search tools. And Debbie Rivera says that once you've found something interesting, you don't have to keep it to yourself.

"You also have an opportunity with this website to share imagery that you like with others, embed it in other types of pages that you might have. So there's a lot of fun tools on the site already."

Astronauts, planets, spacecraft, stars and more online at NASAimages.org, or get the link to this and more than 200 other Websites of the Week from our site, voanews.com.

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