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PDS Geosciences Node, Washington University in St. Louis
Geosciences Node Data
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PDS Background

The Planetary Data System (PDS) is a NASA-funded organization charged with ensuring the preservation and availability of data collected by scientific missions to the planets and other solar system bodies (McMahon, 1996; Arvidson and Dueck, 1994). The PDS was built on the premise that the people who are best qualified to be the keepers of these datasets are the scientists who use the data in their research. Hence the PDS is a distributed, discipline-oriented system consisting of several nodes, each of which is located at the home institution of a research group of experts in the particular discipline. The Engineering Node at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, provides technical and engineering support for the other nodes. PDS management is located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The objectives of the PDS are:

  • to assemble, publish, and distribute peer-reviewed, documented planetary datasets
  • to work with planetary missions to ensure that their datasets will be PDS-compatible and that the data will be delivered to the PDS in a timely manner
  • to develop and maintain standards and tools for the assembly and documentation of datasets
  • to provide expert assistance to the planetary community on data archiving and distribution.

For more information, follow the links below to the Planetary Data System Home Page and the other PDS nodes.


PDS Nodes PDS Atmospheres Geosciences Imaging NAIF PPI Rings Small Bodies
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Curator: Susan Slavney
NASA Official: Raymond E. Arvidson
Last Updated:
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