Finished projects

List of finished and/or archived APSI projects below. Active projects are found on the projects page.

NASA’s planetary image archive relocation 2013 – 2016

NASA’s Nordic Regional Planetary Image Facility (NRPIF) was located at the University of Oulu for roughly 20 years. It served as one of four hubs in Europe for planetary scientists, and engaged students from various fields. In addition, the archive was visited yearly by hundreds of space enthusiasts, from preschoolers to seniors.

NRPIF was one of the few places in the world where old, real life Lunar Orbiter images of the Moon still survived. These formed the heart of the NRPIF collection, along with pictures taken on the surface of Venus by Soviet landers, and ~8000 other snapshots from various space probes.

The university hosted NRPIF from early 1990’s onwards, but decided to scrap it in 2010. Much of the materials — books, posters, impact rock collections, old data records, etc — were either destroyed, or shipped to storage facilities.

In 2013 APSI was formed. One of the very first tasks for the new institute was to find a new home for what was left of the archive. In practice that meant the planetary probe images, which remained in a limbo stage at the university, inside 17 large containers.

APSI members discussed the situation with numerous potential receiving facilities: universities, national archives, institutes, and even astronomy enthusiasts. The search for a new site went on for three years, and spanned through Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Finally, a new home was found. In 2016 Järviseutu-seura ry, or the “Lake district society”, agreed to take charge of the archive. The images would beautifully supplement the society’s own goal – to build a new science center on the shores of Lappajärvi — the largest impact crater lake in Europe.

Cf. Järviseutu-seura’s report of activities 2016,