The National Science Foundation (NSF) has signed an agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to share high-speed communications lines. The effort will link university researchers now connected to NSF's national computer communications network with data bases and supercomputers at NASA laboratories. “NSF and NASA have agreed to work together to identify ways to satisfy the technical requirements of networking through research, engineering, and implementations,” according to Steve Wolff, NSF Division Director for Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure.
The 5-year agreement will allow three NASA facilities to link to existing NSF regional networks, which in turn are connected through a national backbone network. The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will be linked to the Southeastern Universities Research Associated Net (SURANET); the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., will be linked to the Bay Area Regional Research Net (BARR-NET); and the NASA Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, Tex., will be linked to Sesquinet, a regional network in Texas. Authorized scientists will be able to access and use NASA data in their research, and can apply for time on NASA supercomputers. NASA-funded scientists at universities served by NSF regional networks will be able to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues at NASA centers.