Regional Planetary Image Facility

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Regional Planetary Image Facility Network
Logo of the Regional Planetary Image Facility Network
World Map
Regional Planetary Image Facility Locations
Formation1977 (1977)
PurposeResearch, Education, Outreach
Parent organization

NASA Regional Planetary Image Facilities (RPIFs) are planetary image and data libraries located throughout the United States and abroad that are funded by both NASA and the host institutions.[1] A network of these facilities was established in 1977 to maintain photographic and digital data as well as mission documentation. Each facility’s general holding contains images and maps of planets and their satellites taken by solar system exploration spacecraft. These planetary image facilities are open to the public. The facilities are primarily reference centers for browsing, studying, and selecting lunar and planetary photographic and cartographic materials. Experienced staff can assist scientists, educators, students, media, and the public in ordering materials for their own use.[2] Since it was formally established, the network of RPIFs has expanded to nine U.S. facilities and seven in other countries. The first RPIF to be established outside of the U.S. was in England in 1980 at the University College London (UCL), and since then RPIFs have been set up in Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, and Japan.

Resources and services offered[edit]

The RPIFs store and maintain a variety of planetary data and imagery, making them unique resources covering decades of planetary science. Among the offerings are:


  1. ^ Shirley & Fairbridge, eds. (1997). "Regional Planetary Image Facilities," Encyclopedia of Planetary Sciences, Chapman & Hall, London, pp. 686-687
  2. ^ Muller & Grindrod (2010). "UK NASA 3D-RPIF: A European facility for extracting, analysing and visualising DTMs from HiRISE and CTX," European Planetary Science Congress 2010, September 20–24, 2010, Rome, Italy, pp. 883-884

External links[edit]