NEW MEXICO – NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS) Atmospheres Node, located in the Department of Astronomy at New Mexico State University (NMSU), received the 2022 Silver Group Achievement Award .
That Node has a distributed archive containing all data returned to Earth from NASA planetary missions throughout the solar system. At NMSU, a team has been archiving all information related to planetary atmospheres since 1995.
The NMSU team was one of a group of PDS nodes across the country to receive NASA’s 2022 Silver Group Achievement Award. The award is one of the highest that officials and contractors can receive.
Astronomy professor Reta Beebe led the node at NMSU from 1995 to 2015. Beebe is still on the team working part-time. Nancy Chanover has been the principal investigator of the Atmospheres Node since 2016. In addition to Chanover and Beebe, other current and former team members who received certificates include Lyle Huber, Lynn Neakrase, Joni Johnson, Irma Trejo, and Tina Gueth.
The NASA Silver Service Award recognizes more than a decade of work in modernizing the PDS using new computer technologies. The team’s efforts to move data to a new, more modern information model required a sustained effort.
“This Silver Team Award is not just for the people working on the Atmospheres node of the PDS today, but for all those who have been involved in developing modern standards for the PDS, some of whom have retired or no longer work for the PDS,” said Chanover.
The main job of the Atmospheres Node as part of the PDS is to receive the data, serve it to the public, make sure it is accessible, and provide expertise to the public or the user community that may have difficulty finding something. Its ultimate task is to send the data to NASA’s deep archive for long-term preservation.
The PDS Atmospheres Node is supported by a US$5.1 million grant, which was recently renewed.