The NASA Life Science (LS) program expects to be generating increasing data volumes as it continues with LS-dedicated space shuttle missions, and anticipates the space station era. In order to assure public accessibility to the appropriate data from these missions, the Life and Biomedical Sciences Division at NASA/HQ is guiding the development of the Life Science Data Archive (LSDA). A prototype LSDA, with a focus on data from the 1991 SLS 1 mission, has just been developed with coordination by NASA/Johnson Space Center, and with important input from LS-relevant project personnel at JSC and at NASA/Ames Research Center, as well as NSSDC.
NSSDC has designed and implemented the online portion of the LSDA, based on World Wide Web access to the Life Science Master Catalog (LSMC). The LSMC is a tuned version of the NSSDC Master Catalog, which has been community-accessible via NSSDC's NODIS account for some years now. It was determined by the LSDA managers that NSSDC's tuning of its database would be much more cost effective for LSDA than building a new LSMC "from scratch."
The WWW interface to the LSMC allows graphic- or character-based interactions. A series of WWW pages, including pictures and movies, has been developed for life sciences missions and projects. These pages introduce the user to the work of life sciences and lead the users to the information in the Master Catalog. After HQ and Project approval, the LSMC will be made publicly accessible. One pathway will be from the NSSDC WWW home page (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov).
Digital data from LS missions will typically be archived on CD-ROM, copies of which will be held at and distributed from NSSDC. Other data types will be available from elsewhere in LSDA.