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Local researchers develop program to access mars images

By Julie Bierach, KWMU

ST. LOUIS, MO – As NASA scientists prepare for the Saturday launch of the Phoenix Mars mission, local researchers have developed software that allows the public to access images from the planet.

Researchers at Washington University developed the software called the Orbital Data Explorer. It provides all people, scientists or not, access to images from cameras like HiRise, the most power spectral camera ever sent to Mars.

Keith Bennett led the development of the software; he says the various missions send data to earth which is then processed by NASA scientists.

"We then take that data and put it into this web tool to allow scientists not involved in the mission to be able to easily find the data either by location or time, that they can then use in their own research," said Bennett.

Bennett says scientists from universities all over the world are researching the planet and also need access to the data.