Regional Planetary Image Facility Network

The Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF) Network is an international network of planetary image and data centers hosted by different institutions. The network was established in 1977 and partly managed by NASA until 2020. These facilities maintain libraries and collections of NASA planetary mission books, photographs, maps, and other mission documents for the public. The facilities originally focused on providing access to hardcopy documents and photographs for users in a library setting. Over the decades, the facilities grew in capability to serve digital formats while continuing to provide access to NASA's planetary data and providing expert assistance and training for users.

The charter of the RPIF Network includes providing access to visiting scientists and the public, helping users to understand facility holdings, assisting with data acquisitions from the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) and NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) archives, as well as communicating with and training the community in relevant topics. The facilities are geographically widely distributed to increase their accessibility and are located at institutions with long-term core groups of planetary scientists who use the collections.

Today's RPIF Network continues the original charter from NASA to facilitate access to planetary mission data while also expanding their collections of planetary data and documents. Each facility's holdings contain images and maps of planets and their satellites taken by solar system exploration spacecraft. Many of the facilities have unique holdings, rescued data and documents from local research programs, and a specialized focus area. In 2021, the RPIF Network informally became an important element of NASA's Planetary Data Ecosystem, with facilities filling a need for physical and online access to planetary data and supporting documentation, as well providing expert assistance and training in planetary data and its use.

For specific information about the nearest network facility, browse the list of U.S. and international locations. For other queries, contact [email protected].

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