In 2007 the Internet Archive asked us to partner with them on a project to bring the complexity of NASA’s multi-organizational imaging content under one unified interface, LUNA. This undertaking was a significant challenge because of the widespread diversity among the numerous NASA sites. Each NASA site individually represents the community they serve and the content they produce. As a result data fields and content formats are diverse, making it a challenge to showcase as one centralized collection.
With the release of our brand-new web-based LUNA Viewer interface a year earlier, we were up for that very challenge. The Viewer gave us the ability to display multiple collections on the front-end as one large searchable resource, with the potential to ingest content from a variety of sources on the back-end. With a little engineering magic, we developed a method to pull the NASA content into the Viewer. On July 24, 2008 the site was open to the public.
This partnership lasted until the fall of 2012 when the Internet Archive had to make a very difficult decision to let the site close when NASA moved nasaimages.org to a defense contractor’s website.
We, on the other hand, did not give up the idea of continuing to serve this content. We’ve been waiting for the right time to bring it back to life and that time is now. After the release of LUNA 7.1 (coming soon) we’ll have a method to bring the NASA content into the new LUNA system. Our vision is to make it publicly available once again in a sleek, easy-to-use, web interface.