PDS "Welcome to the Planets" Educational CD-ROMs Available at NSSDCA

For Macintosh and DOS/Windows

The Planetary Data System has produced an educational CD-ROM, "Welcome to the Planets", consisting of over 200 selected images acquired over approximately 25 years of NASA planetary exploration. The CD is available from NSSDCA (See bottom of this page for ordering info). 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 various spacecraft that explored them. The primary intent of "Welcome to the Planets" is to provide individuals and teachers with an overview of planetary exploration, at approximately a high school or college level. The expectation is that teachers would use the programs at a variety of grade levels.

The images and information are presented in two multimedia formats: 1) Macintosh and Windows projectors created using Macromedia Director 4.0.4 and 2) HTML files. The user can view the data on Macintosh computers with a minimum display screen of 640 x 480 picture elements using the Macintosh projector named WTP.MAC, included in the top level directory of the CD-ROM. The user can view the data on Windows computers with a minimum VGA display screen of 640 x 480 picture elements using the Windows projector named WTP.EXE, included in the WTP directory of the CD-ROM.

The HTML file named WELCOME.HTM, is also located in the top-level directory. The user can run this file using the HTML client software. The WELCOME.HTM file does not have all of the functions available in the Macintosh and Windows program, but allows access to all of the text and images on all platforms for which there exists HTML client software.

These programs are designed to introduce the user interactively to planetary exploration using images and text. "Welcome to the Planets" can be used alone as an introduction to planetary science, or as a tool for solving problems in conjunction with exercises written by a teacher. A curriculum guide is supplied on this CD-ROM. This guide is intended to help teachers design lessons around the information contained on the CD-ROM. The curriculum guide can be read from within the program using Adobe Acrobat Reader version 2.1. Macintosh and Windows versions of these readers are provided on the CD.

All still images used in the presentations are provided in CompuServe GIF format in the GIF subdirectory, and most are available in JPEG format in the JPEG subdirectory. 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.

An on-line version of the "Welcome to the Planets" CD-ROM exists at the Planetary Data System, along with further information on the CD:

PDS On-line "Welcome to the Planets"
More detailed information on the new "Welcome to the Planets" CD-ROM

The price of "Welcome to the Planets" is $10 per CD-ROM ordered. There is an extra $5 charge for all foreign requests to cover shipping.
To order these CD-ROMs contact the NSSDCA Request Office at (301) 286-6695, by E-mail: request@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov, or order directly using the NSSDCA CD-ROM Catalog.

NSSDCA CD-ROM Catalog - Ordering the "Welcome to the Planets" CD-ROM
NSSDCA CD-ROM Catalog - Other data available on CD-ROM from NSSDCA
More on the CD-ROM - NSSDCA Master Catalog
NSSDCA Planetary page

Dr. David R. Williams, dave.williams@nasa.gov
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: Dr. David R. Williams, david.r.williams@nasa.gov
Last Updated: 06 January 2005, DRW