The National Space Science Data Center serves as the permanent archive for NASA space science mission data. "Space science" pertains to astronomy and astrophysics, solar and space plasma physics, and planetary and lunar science. As the permanent archive, NSSDC teams with NASA's discipline-specific space science "active archives" which provide access to data to researchers and, in some cases, to the general public. NSSDC also serves as NASA's permanent archive for space physics mission data. It provides access to several geophysical models and to data from some non-NASA mission data.
NSSDC supports active space physics and astrophysics researchers. Web-based services allow the NSSDC to support the general public. This support is in the form of information about spacecraft and access to digital versions of selected imagery. NSSDC also provides access to portions of their database contains information about data archived at NSSDC (and, in some cases, other facilities), the spacecraft which generate space science data and experiments which generate space science data. NSSDC services also included are data management standards and technologies.
NSSDC is part of the Solar System Exploration Data Services Office (SSEDSO) in the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. NSSDC is sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. NSSDC acts in concert with various NASA discipline data systems in providing certain data and services.
NSSDC was first established at Goddard Space Flight Center in 1966. NSSDC's staff consists largely of physical scientists, computer scientists, analysts, programmers, and data technicians. Staffing level, including civil service and onsite contractors, has ranged between 15 and 100 over the life of NSSDC. Early in its life, NSSDC accumulated data primarily on 7-track and 9-track tape and on various photoproducts, and all data dissemination was via media replication and mailing. Starting in the mid-1980s, NSSDC received and disseminated increasing data volumes via electronic networks. Dissemination formats are presently via the internet, either via HTTP or FTP.
Data Services contains data and mission information: The Multiwavelength Milky Way, the Multimedia Catalog and the NSSDC Photo Gallery.
Flight Mission Information contains lists of flight missions and information about them; this is where the NSSDC Master Catalog is along with mission-specific access. A graphical interface to mission information is in this area as well.
Related Information Services have detailed information about data held at NSSDC via the Master Catalog, NSSDC Lunar and Planetary Science, and NSSDC Heliophysics.
There are also NASA Astrophysics Data Archive/Service Centers. These include HEASARC (High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center), IRSA (Infrared Science Archives), LAMBDA (Legacy Archive for Microwave Background Data Analysis), MAST (Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes).
There are also other NASA archives/service centers; MSC (Michelson Science Center), NASA ADS (Astrophysics Data System), NED (NASA Extragalactic Database).
Heliophysics contains data and information services, data archive, and service centers. Information also includes the Heliophysics Virtual Observatories, using the SPASE data model to describe the resources.
The NSSDC Master Catalog is available for the queries pertaining to information about data that are archived at the NSSDC as well as for supplemental information via the following query mechanisms:
- Spacecraft Query. This interface allows queries to our database of orbital, suborbital, and interplanetary spacecraft.
- Experiment Query. This interface allows queries for information about scientific experiments that flew on-board various space missions.
- Data Collection Query. This interface allows queries for data that are tracked by NSSDC, primarily those that are currently archived here.
- Personnel Query. This interface allows queries for locator information for personnel that were associated with various missions and/or data collections submitted to NSSDC.
- Publication Query. This interface allows queries information about publications that are relevant to the data NSSDC archives or to the experiments and/or missions that accumulated the data. The publications so captured are not intended to be comprehensive bibliographies.
- Lunar and Planetary Map Query. This interface allows queries of the lunar and planetary maps that NSSDC currently has in stock.
- New and Updated Data Query. This interface allows queries for those data collections for which the NSSDC has recently acquired new data, either additions to existing collections or entirely new collections.
- Lunar and Planetary Events Query. This interface allows queries for events that have occurred which are related to the exploration of the Moon and the Solar System.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
- "About the NSSDC..." Overview of the NSSDC. Content in this article has been obtained from content in the Public Domain per NASA. NASA. October 2010. Retrieved October 2010. Check date values in:
- "Universe Exploration". Astrophysics data and mission information. Content in this article has been obtained from content in the Public Domain per NASA. NASA. October 2010. Retrieved October 2010. Check date values in:
- "Heliophysics". Space and solar physics data and mission information. Content in this article has been obtained from content in the Public Domain per NASA. NASA. October 2010. Retrieved October 2010. Check date values in:
- "NSSDC Master Catalog". information about data that are archived at the NSSDC as well as for supplemental information. Content in this article has been obtained from content in the Public Domain per NASA. NASA. October 2010. Retrieved October 2010. Check date values in:
- Meeks, Brock N. (Feb 12, 1990) "NASA Data: Where No LAN Has Gone Before" InfoWorld Vol. 12, No. 7:S17
- NASA Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) (1992) State of the Data Union NASA-TM-109951 pp 28-32
- Bretherton, Francis (1993) 1992 Review of the World Data Center-A for Rockets and Satellites and the National Space Science Data Center US National Research Council, Washington, DC: US National Academies Press OCLC 30712126
- US National Research Council (2002) Assessment of the Usefulness and Availability of NASA's Earth and Space Science Mission Data Washington, DC: The National Academies Press ISBN 9780309581431 pages 24, 27, 33, 42-43
- Burden, Paul R. (2010) A Subject Guide to Quality Web Sites Scarecrow Press ISBN 9780810876958 page 506
- About NSSDC
- NSSDC website
- NSSDC Master Catalog
- Planetary Fact Sheets
- NSSDC home at NASA planetary science