NASA iPad App Beams Science Straight to Users

NASA satellites beam data from space; now the Agency is beaming it straight to your iPad. Software and media specialists at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., released Tuesday a new iPad app — the NASA Visualization Explorer.

The app allows users to interact with images, video, and information about NASA’s latest Earth science research. The iPad presented NASA a new and easily accessible way to put Earth science visualizations directly in people’s hands, believes NASA.

The app’s science features will include high-resolution movies and stills and short written stories to put all the pieces in context. Most of the movies are simply real satellite data, visualized.

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Other features will include interviews with scientists or imagery from supercomputer modeling efforts. The app includes social networking interfaces, including links to Facebook and Twitter, for easy sharing of stories.

The app editorial team plans to develop two new science features per week. After publishing an initial batch of six features with the launch, new features will publish to the app on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In the future the app could include occasional stories about the Sun, the other planets in our Solar System, and exotic objects far out in the cosmos. The Goddard team designed the application essentially as a mobile multimedia magazine.

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“Its one-of-a-kind content is geared to the general public, students, educators — anyone interested in the natural world,” said Michael Starobin, a senior producer at Goddard Space Flight Center who spearheaded the app’s editorial direction.

“The app will explore stories of climate change, Earth’s dynamic systems, plant life on land and in the oceans — all of the small and large stories captured in data by NASA satellites and then visualized.”

The application is free to the public and available from the App Store via iTunes.

Photo courtesy: NASA

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