Beyond the VAO

Starting on October 1, 2014, the NASA archives will sustain the key
components of the US Virtual Observatory infrastructure developed by
the VAO as part of their in-guide funding.

Information will continue to be available through the VAO Web site
(, to be maintained by the Infrared Processing &
Analysis Center (IPAC). VO services and data collections will be
monitored by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research
Center (HEASARC). The VO Registry, which enables the discovery of
data collections, will be maintained at the Space Telescope Science
Institute (STScI). The NASA archives will take an active role in the
development of international data access standard and have appointed a
liaison between them and the International Virtual Observatory
Alliance to facilitate this effort.

Through the transfer of VAO assets to NASA, with public domain
software and documentation in the VAO Repository (, the VAO
legacy will be preserved and, we hope, enhanced. To that end, many VAO
tools and services will be sustained by the organizations that
developed them within the VAO collaboration:

A community-organized collaboration to further continued VO development within the U.S. and abroad has been proposed. Known as the US Virtual Observatory Alliance, a proposal to establish such a collaborative group under the auspices of the American Astronomical Society has been advanced, and further information will be forthcoming as details are established. If you would like to be kept informed of this group, please subscribe to the VO news mailing list (

The VAO has been jointly funded by NSF and NASA, and has been managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization registered in the District of Columbia and a collaborative effort of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and the Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI).

We appreciate the wise counsel of the VAO, LLC Board of Directors and the VAO Science Council, and we are grateful for feedback from the astronomical community that helped us improve our science tools and infrastructure.