About the HEASARC:
A Brief History >
Relevance to NASA's Strategic Plan
A Brief History of the HEASARCThe HEASARC was established by NASA at its Goddard Space Flight Center, with Dr. Nick White as its director, in November 1990. It was the first of several wavelength-specific NASA science archive research centers. The motivation for these centers was to create an environment that could sustain archival data in usable form, after the mission that obtained these data ended. A crucial part of this new approach was to co-locate the archive with scientists actively undertaking research, connecting the data holdings with the necessary science expertise. It was also anticipated that a multi-mission approach to the archive would lead to cost savings for future missions by reusing software and archive resources.
The HEASARC was selected as the first wavelength specific archive center because of the then imminent ROSAT, CGRO, ASCA, and RXTE missions. These missions each have a unique complementary capability that could only be fully exploited if the data were easily combined within a single archive. Another concern at that time was that the data from several high energy astrophysics missions from the 1980s and 1970s were on the verge of being lost. These activities dominated the majority of the first ten years of the HEASARC's life. Since then, the HEASARC has provided access to data from a number of operational missions, including the Chandra, XMM-Newton, HETE-2, INTEGRAL, Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer, and Suzaku missions.
In the future, the HEASARC will archive data from other missions, either just launched or scheduled for launch in the coming years. These include: the Fermi (formerly GLAST, launched mid-2008) and NuSTAR (to be launched in 2011) missions.
In the summer of 1999, with NASA HQ concurrence, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics became a partner in the HEASARC organization. The primary objective of this partnering is to bring together the strengths and experience of both organizations to provide the best possible HEASARC service.
In the summer of 2008, the HEASARC merged with NASA's cosmic microwave
background archive LAMBDA (Legacy
Archive for Microwave Background Data Analysis). The expanded HEASARC's
data holdings thus now include data from
WMAP, COBE, and
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Last modified: Tuesday, 05-Mar-2013 15:24:58 EST