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NASA, Google reaching for stars

NASA Ames Research Center issued a press release Wednesday shedding more light on the R&D collaboration between the space agency and search behemoth Google, which includes a vast new campus at Ames' Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif. The two entities plan to cooperate on areas including large-scale data management and data-mining, massively distributed computing, bio-info-nano convergence and promoting the entrepreneurial space industry, according to NASA's statement.

"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," Eric Schmidt, Google chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The partnership dovetails with Google's recent hiring of Vint Cerf, an Internet pioneer who is a visiting scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion lab and who is developing communication technologies for deep space. The NASA-Google relationship could almost have been expected following Cerf's hire, and counting Google cofounder Larry Page's interest in the space industry. In the last year, Google has also hired several NASA scientists following government cutbacks that affected the Ames Research Center.

Despite the clear talent and ambition, there will be high expectations with a long way to fall. "The technologies createdÂ…not only will enable and enhance further exploration of space, they will positively impact the daily lives of all Americans for generations to come," California Representative Anna Eshoo said in the release.