PDS' Education CD-ROM,"Welcome to the Planets," Available from NSSDC

Volume 11, Number 1, March 1995
By Dave Williams
The Planetary Data System has produced an educational CD-ROM, "Welcome to the Planets," consisting of 190 selected images acquired over approximately 25 years of NASA planetary exploration. The CD is now available from NSSDC. The images cover all the planets in the solar system including the Earth and Moon, as well as images of comets, asteroids, meteorites, lunar samples, spacecraft, and many of the moons of other planets. Each image is accompanied by a caption and information about solar system bodies and about various spacecraft that explored them, at approximately a high school or college level.

Two methods are available to access "Welcome to the Planets." The first is a multimedia Macintosh program on the CD-ROM named WELCOME.MAC that is designed for use on Macintosh computers. The second is a NCSA Mosaic hypertext file. The hypertext file can be used with NCSA Mosaic software on any platform for which NCSA has created software, including Macintosh, DOS, Sun UNIX and Silicon Graphics Indigo/IRIX. Unlike the Macintosh program, the NCSA Mosaic software is not on the CD-ROM but can be acquired from NCSA's anonymous ftp server. A new version of the CD-ROM will be issued imminently by PDS, which will additionally have an interface supporting use of the CD-ROM from a DOS/Windows environment.

The images in "Welcome to the Planets" are included in GIF format in the GIF directory of the CD-ROM. Inclusion of these files allows the user to display them using GIF image viewers. Sound files are also available for the captions so they can be read aloud by the computer.

This CD is dedicated to Dr. William L. Quaide, Chief (Ret.) of the Planetary Science Branch, NASA Solar System Exploration Division. The price of "Welcome to the Planets" is $36 for the first CD-ROM, and $6 for each additional copy in the order. There is an extra $5 charge for all foreign requests to cover shipping. To order these CD-ROMs, contact the NSSDC Request Office at (301) 286-6695 or by E-mail: request@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov

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Last Revised: 04 Dec 1996 [EDG]