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NASA,Microsoft Launch Collaboration With Immersive Photography

>> Aug. 6, 2007
>> Allard Beutel
>> Headquarters, Washington
>> 202-358-4769
>> allard.beutel@nasa.gov
>> Jonas Dino
>> Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
>> 650-604-5612/207-3280
>> jdino@mail.arc.nasa.gov
>> Kathy Gill
>> Microsoft Live Labs, Redmond, Wash.
>> 503-443-7000
>> grey.hautaluoma-1@nasa.gov
>> WASHINGTON - On Monday, NASA and Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, 
>> Wash., released an interactive, 3-D photographic collection of the 
>> space shuttle Endeavour preparing for its upcoming mission to the 
>> International Space Station. Endeavour is scheduled to launch from 
>> NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 6:36 
>> p.m. EDT.
>> For the first time, people around the world can view hundreds of high 
>> resolution photographs of Endeavour, Launch Pad 39A, and the Vehicle 
>> Assembly Building at Kennedy in a unique 3-D viewer. NASA and 
>> Microsoft's Live Labs team developed the online experience using 
>> hundreds of photographs and a photo imaging technology called 
>> Photosynth. Using a click-and-drag interface, viewers can zoom in to 
>> see intimate details of the shuttle booster rockets or zoom out for a 
>> more global view of the launch facility. The software uses 
>> photographs from standard digital cameras to construct a 3-D view 
>> that can be navigated and explored online. The NASA images can be 
>> viewed at Microsoft's Live Labs at:
>> http://labs.live.com
>> "This collaboration with Microsoft gives the public a new way to 
>> explore and participate in America's space program," said William 
>> Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for Space Operations, 
>> Washington. "We're also looking into using this new technology to 
>> support future missions."
>> "With Photosynth, we take pictures of an environment and knit them 
>> together into an experience that people can move through like a 3-D 
>> video game," said Microsoft Live Labs Architect Blaise Aguera y 
>> Arcas. "NASA provided us with some outstanding images, and the result 
>> is an experience that will wow anyone wanting to get a closer look at 
>> NASA's missions."
>> The NASA collections were created in collaboration between 
>> Microsoft's Live Lab, Kennedy and NASA's Ames Research Center, 
>> Moffett Field, Calif.
>> "We see potential to use Photosynth for a variety of future mission 
>> activities, from inspecting the International Space Station and the 
>> Hubble Space Telescope to viewing landing sites on the moon and 
>> Mars," said Chris C. Kemp, director of Strategic Business Development 
>> at Ames.
>> Photosynth was created in collaboration between Microsoft and the 
>> University of Washington. The software combines hundreds or thousands 
>> of regular digital photos of a scene to present a detailed 3-D model 
>> of a subject, giving viewers the sensation of smoothly gliding around 
>> the scene from every angle. A collection can be constructed using 
>> photos from a single source or multiple sources. The NASA Photosynth 
>> collection also includes the return of the space shuttle Atlantis to 
>> the Kennedy Shuttle Landing Facility from Edwards Air Force Base, 
>> Calif., in July.
>> Microsoft Live Labs is an applied research organization focused on 
>> the incubation of innovative, Internet technologies to improve and 
>> accelerate the next evolution of Microsoft's Internet products and 
>> services.
>> For more information about space shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission, 
>> visit:
>> http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
>> -end-
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