SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Google and US space agency NASA announced an alliance to solve cosmic computing problems and channel information from space around the world via the Internet.

The online search powerhouse signed a Space Agreement Act in a move that formalized a partnership started last year when Google said it would build a massive research center at NASA Ames Research Center on the cusp of Silicon Valley in Northern California.

In what was heralded as the first in a series of joint collaborations, Google and scientists at Ames said they would put "the most useful of NASA's information on the Internet."

Among data being eyed for the Internet were three-dimensional maps of the moon, weather satellite imagery, and real-time tracking of the International Space Station.

"This agreement between NASA and Google will soon allow every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars," NASA administrator Michael Griffin said in a release.

"This innovative combination of information technology and space science will make NASA's space exploration work accessible to everyone."

NASA and Google teams met recently to discuss computer science problems facing both organizations and ways to jointly tackle those challenges, according to both organizations.

NASA and Google said they intend to collaborate in areas including adding agency data to the Google Earth online mapping program; modeling human-computer interaction, and swiftly plucking science facts from a universe of information.

"We're pleased to move forward to collaborate on a variety of technical challenges," said Google chief executive Eric Schmidt.

"Partnering with NASA made perfect sense for Google, as it has a wealth of technical expertise and data that will be of great use to Google as we look to tackle many computing issues on behalf of our users."

Google already provides some NASA space exploration imagery on the Internet.

NASA claimed to have amassed and analyzed more information about Earth and the cosmos than any other entity in human history and was hoping Google would help deliver it to the world.

"Our collaboration with Google will demonstrate that the private and public sectors can accomplish great things together," said Ames center director S. Pete Worden.

"I want NASA Ames to establish partnerships with the private sector that will encourage innovation, while advancing the Vision for Space Exploration and commercial interests."

NASA and Google said they were also arranging to work together on "research, products, facilities, education and missions."

Source: Yahoo! News