MDSS Stages Mission-Specific Data

Volume 12, Number 3, September 1996
By William Lawson

The Mission Data Staging System (MDSS)  is located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland. The MDSS began operations in March 1996 and currently provides a staging area for mission data in support of the X-Ray Timing Explorer (XTE) mission.

The primary role of the MDSS is to stage data for mission participants in mission-specific formats. Additionally, the MDSS supports public access to non-proprietary data until it is available in other public archives (e.g., NSSDC, HEASARC). Currently, the MDSS provides the following services to the XTE project:

The XTE Guest Observer Facility (GOF) located at GSFC has electronic access to the entire collection of data stored in the MDSS. This capability facilitates the GOF's need to support visiting guest observers. Members of the GOF can access guest observer data and download them to the GOF's computers to assist guest observer analysis.

Non-proprietary XTE data are available to the public via the MDSS. Public access is supported by two methods. First, public data are available via anonymous FTP ( The data can then be found by connecting to the "data/FD" directory. The W3Browse interface can be accessed via the HEASARC home page ( where readers can click on "Archive."

Additional MDSS documentation is available via the Web at

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 21 Nov 1996 [EDG]