NASA Harnesses the Crowd for Marine Observation Mission

by Matt Ball on October 20, 2011

NASA has just launched the 15th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) crew, sending six astronauts, researchers and habitat technicians to live for ten days in an underwater habitat three miles off the coast of Key Largo. This is a training mission for plans to send a crew to visit an asteroid, using the weightless underwater environment to simulate different collection methods and to inform cost-effective designs. Central to the mission is a new crowdsourcing site developed by Vizzuality in partnership with Zooniverse to make sense of all the data they will collect.

The crowdsourcing site contains imagery for a square kilometer of ocean bottom, parsing it into navigable chunks that the public can scan for scientifically relevant items. The public will help scientists by aggregating data that they can target for further study.

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