The Planetary Data System (PDS) is one of four NASA organizations within the Planetary Science Division that works to ensure archived planetary science data and curated samples remain accessible to current researchers, and are preserved for future generations and protected against corruption, contamination, and loss. To increase interoperability and searchability across all archives, the PDS is currently engaged in development of a Roadmap for the period 2017 to 2026.  The purpose of this roadmap effort is to outline a strategy for moving forward in planetary data archiving under the auspices of a rapidly growing data volume (nearly 1 petabyte at present), new computing capabilities, tools, and facilities, and a growing community of planetary science investigators.  PDS has initiated this effort by calling for a Request for Information (RFI) from the NASA community on these topics:

  1. Tools, resources, workflows, tutorials, and interfaces
  2. Making the archiving process seamless, less costly, and more efficient
  3. The role of PDS relative to other archiving alternatives (e.g., journals), in providing the public access to NASA-generated data
  4. Integration of PDS data products and services with those of other facilities, e.g., the U.S. Geological Survey’s cartography program and the Minor Planets Center, and other products
  5. The role the PDS should play in encouraging the development of higher-order data products
  6. Appropriate improvements to the current search capabilities of the PDS

To move forward with this effort, NASA has called for self-nominations from the planetary science community for a Roadmap Study Team with a requested response of by the end of the day 28 March 2016. This group will join the NASA management and PDS team to prepare the Roadmap document.  It is expected that the PDS Roadmap Study Team will do much of its work virtually, using tele- and web-conferences. However, there will be up to three, two-day-long, face-to-face meetings in the next year.

To learn more about the PDS Roadmap process, please join us at the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science conference (  On Thursday, March 24 at noon in the Cochran’s Crossing room we will host a public forum to provide updates on current status and take additional input from the planetary science community.  In addition, there will be a poster presentation on this topic (

Reference Documents