A NASA Facility “Making the Future” for 75 Years

May 18, 2016

Adjacent to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Ohio, there’s a collection of buildings where early experiments in turbojet engines, liquid hydrogen fuel, and wind energy were conducted. A place whose technologies once helped the United States to win the moon race and today contribute to our journey to Mars. That facility, the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, celebrates 75 years of advancing spaceflight technology in 2016. The center was renamed after John H. Glenn, the former astronaut and U.S. Senator, in 1999. He was the first American to orbit Earth in 1962 and became the oldest person to fly in space in 1998 aboard a mission on Space Shuttle Discovery.  The major aeronautics and space test ground spotlights its own decades-long history in a new publication made available through GPO.

grc_night

Bringing the Future Within Reach: Celebrating 75 Years of the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, 1941-2016

Born of the Yankee ingenuity of World War II, the research center began operations in 1942 under the name of Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory (AERL) and the auspices of NASA’s predecessor, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The center was first tasked with improving aircraft engines to compete with Nazi Germany. It quickly established itself as a foremost test facility for high-speed flight and jet engine technologies. In the early, post-war years of NASA, the center managed several large projects, most notably contributing to Project Mercury, the first manned mission. Since that time, “the three pillars of the center’s success have been its robust physical assets, its astute leadership, and the accomplished staff.”

BringingTheFutureWithinReach_033-000-01377-9The 1990s was a particularly prolific time for the center. It manufactured the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) deployed on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1993. In 1994, it was assigned management of the power system for the U.S.-Russian Mir Cooperative Solar Array program. And before the successful Martian landing of the Pathfinder rover, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) turned to the center to conduct three performance tests. Over the years, lessons learned from high-energy propellants experiments have propelled the aerospace industry into the future.

Today, the Glenn Research Center is an unparalleled aeropropulsion and alternative energy trendsetter. The center is credited with developing the ion engine used on the Deep Space 1 probe and the power system currently in use on the International Space Station. It is home to the Zero-Gravity facility, the largest drop tower of its kind. It also hosts the Propulsion System Lab, the nation’s premier altitude flight simulation facility. Another section tests how spacecraft will survive the unique and hostile conditions of deep space. And the Photovoltaic Lab studies how to power future spacecraft going to Jupiter and Saturn.

Credit: 1960s photo of Interior of the 20-foot-diameter vacuum tank in the Electric Propulsion Laboratory.

Credit: 1960s photo of Interior of the 20-foot-diameter vacuum tank in the Electric Propulsion Laboratory.

The center’s aeronautics expertise has considerably advanced NASA mission-critical technology and leadership inside and outside the lab. Remarking on the center’s anniversary, Sen. John Glenn said such work is “important in maintaining a leadership in this kind of research, this kind of emphasis on the new and the unknown” and to “maximize the research return right here on Earth.” Seventy-five years of “making the future” in aerospace R&D and solar system exploration is just the beginning for the Glenn Research Center.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


30 Years Since Challenger

January 27, 2016

January 28th marks 30 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. On that day in 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle orbiter broke apart a mere 73 seconds into flight. The vehicle disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean. All seven crew members perished. Among them was Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space. Initial post-incident inquiries determined a catastrophic O-ring failure caused the explosion; an investigative commission cited a flawed decision-making process was also to blame. Such a tremendous loss put the program on hiatus and Congress on an earnest search for answers.

Challenger crew. Front row from left, Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair. Back row from left, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, Judith Resnik. Image source: www.nasa.gov

Challenger crew: Front row from left, Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair. Back row from left, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, Judith Resnik. Image source: www.nasa.gov

GPO’s Federal Digital System makes available the “Investigation of the Challenger Accident” report issued by the House Committee on Science and Technology. The result is 450 pages of findings and concerns. Page seven beautifully sums up the heavy task:

“Perhaps it is arrogant to dissect and interrogate relentlessly projects and programs that bring home repeated A’s for achievement and accomplishment. However, all of us— NASA, the Committee, the Congress and the Nation—have learned from the Challenger tragedy that it is wisdom to do so, and it is a reflection of respect for the human fallibility that we all possess.”

The Space Shuttle program resumed not long after the investigation closed. Its three decades of stratospheric history is the subject of NASA’s “Celebrating 30 years of the Space Shuttle Program.” Contained within the coffee table-worthy publication is dazzling color photography. Each page has quick facts on every orbiter mission and crew. Milepost moments, such Hubble Telescope deployment and the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, receive honorable mention. The book is a love letter to the program’s above-planet discoveries and home planet breakthroughs.

033-000-01355-8In the preamble, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. writes of the Challenger disaster:

“We’ll never forget…Many of us counted them as our personal friends, and their achievements will live on in the spirit of perseverance and grit and hope in which they lived and worked. They were all true heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to this country.”

That tribute is a reminder of how the story of human space flight—its bounds pushed by the Shuttle program—is one of unsurpassed achievement and tragedy. 30 years and 135 missions defined the agency and inspired a skilled, committed engineer and astronaut workforce. That’s why, year after year, NASA upholds its ranking as the best place to work in the Federal Government. The agency is stocked with grown-up kid scientists living their starry-eyed dream of space exploration. They’re the not-so-secret sauce keeping NASA on the frontline of research and results.

The Shuttle’s 2011 retirement was, as Administrator Bolden called it, bittersweet. After all, orbiters Challenger, Columbia, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor helped build the largest human made structure in space, the International Space Station. Some of the bitter to that sweet, of course, is the Challenger disaster. It was a profoundly tragic pause in NASA’s determined mission to reach into the unknown. But it pressed on. Such boundless sight is what makes NASA the world leader in space and a spearhead of the human experience.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above in the blog post.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Oh My Stars! The 2016 NASA Science Calendar Is Now Available

January 6, 2016

It’s that time of year again. As you’re working on your new year resolutions and setting your gaze to fresh beginnings, you might be in need of a new calendar to chart out all your awesome plans. The National Aeronautics Science Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) released their own interstellar variety: The NASA Science 2016 wall calendar

033-000-01374-4Oh my stars! It’s a dreamscape for sure. Each heart-stopping photo shows the depth and scope of both the universe and NASA’s pioneering work. A flip through the months is like taking a tiny journey about the galaxies. This year’s calendar showcases extreme ultraviolet light from our sun, bright spots on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, a glittering cluster of 3,000 stars, icy topography of Pluto, x-ray observations of neutron star…ok, you get it.

Instead of captioning this imagery, let’s give the pictures a chance to talk.

Miss January

Miss January

 

Miss April

Miss April

 

Miss November

Miss November

As you can see, these arresting images of our universe make for a great calendar. So, pull down last year’s calendar hanging in your kitchen that features puppies and kittens. And then head over to GPO’s bookstore for your very own NASA space odyssey in pictures.

How do I obtain NASA Science 2016 Wall Calendar?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


It’s time for meteor watching!

July 16, 2015
Image source: nasa.gov

Image source: nasa.gov

Did you know there is a special a day set aside to watch meteors? Well, there is such a day, and although “Meteor Watch Day” (June 30th) has passed; it’s never too late to get out your blankets and hope for some clear skies! Technically, many meteorites enter the Earth’s atmosphere every single day and, to see them, all you need to do is find a dark sky away from city and suburban lights. There are quite a few dark sky parks in the United States for your meteor watching convenience, including Oracle State Park in Arizona and Death Valley National Park in California. Meteor Watch Day leads us into July and August, which are two of the greatest meteor watching months of the year. If you’d prefer to go outside only when you know for a fact that there will be meteors to see, there be will a Perseid meteor shower in August that will be the most viewable if you live in the Northern Hemisphere – this means if you live in the United States you’ll have an opportunity to view this spectacular light show!

Our vast knowledge of celestial events (like meteor showers) that occur in our universe is all thanks to space programs like NASA. Its most recent endeavor of space exploration was the unprecedented mission of the New Horizons spacecraft flyby of Pluto. The U.S. Government Bookstore offers many publications to give you more information on NASA, celestial events, and anything else you’d like to know about outer space.

008-054-00241-2Astronomical Phenomena for the Year 2017. This booklet, which is free in PDF format, is published by the U.S. Naval Observatory and Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac. The informational booklet includes information such as: Dates for Solar equinoxes and solstices, phases of the Moon, dates for various planetary phenomena, visibility and magnitudes of the planets, the equation of time and declination of the Sun, sunrise/sunset times, and much more.

033-000-01367-1Commercial Orbital Transportation Services: A New Era in Spaceflight provides a history of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program executed by the Commercial Crew & Cargo Program Office from 2006 to 2013 at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. It discusses the elements and people that ultimately made the COTS model a success.

Project Apollo: The Tough DecisionsProject ApolloThe Tough Decisions_Page_001 details the history of the manned space program from September 1, 1960 to January 5, 1968. It touches on the events that led to the Apollo mission program, the mission that established the United States’ presence in space after it had been working so hard to catch up with the Soviet Union. The book includes the major individuals and decisions that contributed to the world’s first manned lunar landings.

033-000-01369-8A Researcher’s Guide to: International Space Station Earth Observations highlights the purpose of NASA’s Earth science program and explains why it’s important to develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s system. Readers will learn about NASA’s detailed research and long-term observations of Earth’s surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans so that they can better predict climate, weather, and natural hazards.

Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication033-000-01368-0 Addressing a field that has been dominated by astronomers, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists, the contributors to this collection raise questions that may have been overlooked by physical scientists about the ease of establishing meaningful communication with an extraterrestrial intelligence. These scholars are grappling with some of the enormous challenges that will face humanity if an information-rich signal emanating from another world is detected. By drawing on issues at the core of contemporary archaeology and anthropology, we can be much better prepared for contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, should that day ever come.

GPO’s Federal Digital System also offers some interesting related resources:

Remember, on the next Meteor Day or any other summer night when the skies are clear, to take a few minutes for some star-gazing, and perhaps even make a wish!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Tiffane Tingle is a Student Intern in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management.


Not Just Space: Celebrating NASA’s Anniversary by Exploring the Aeronautics Program

July 29, 2014

nasa-logo.smallThis month marks NASA’s 56th anniversary. In those 56 years, NASA has made amazing contributions to modern American life. Yet, people often forget that many of NASA’s most meaningful contributions have nothing to do with space exploration. The fascinating book, NASA’s First A: Aeronautics from 1958 to 2008 by Robert G. Ferguson shines a light on NASA’s aeronautics program, an important but often underappreciated part of the agency.

033-000-01364-7The book explains that while the aeronautics program is often overshadowed by the more glamorous space program, aeronautics research has had a direct and undeniable impact on both commercial and military technology. The book illustrates the importance of the aeronautics program by offering up a chronological history of the aeronautics program including the major research areas and important technological contributions of the program.

The chronological history of the aeronautics program begins in the book’s second chapter, which covers NACA (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), the predecessor of NASA. Chapter three focuses on the creation of NASA and how aeronautics fit into the new agency as well as the contributions the program made to the “space race.” Chapter four covers the 1970s, a time when NASA faced pressures to contribute solutions to increasing energy and environmental problems and aeronautics research shifted to help tackle some of these issues. The fifth chapter discusses the 1980s when the Cold War created a strong focus on aeronautical R&D. The chapter also covers more quotidian, but equally important, contributions of the aeronautics program, like troubleshooting for wind shear and icing. Chapter six is about the 1990s, and focuses on aeronautics after the Cold War as well as the creation and eventual demise of two major aeronautics programs, the High Speed Research Program and the Advanced Subsonic Technology Program. The seventh chapter is the end of the book’s chronological history and it covers the three major research areas of the early 2000s: blended wing body design research, intergraded scramjet research, and air traffic control research.

The book is a great read. It offers an interesting introductory history of NASA’s aeronautics program, and readers will certainly no longer make the mistake of thinking that NASA is only concerned with space.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy this as well as the following new publications from NASA (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal Depository Library: Search for these in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or CGP.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Megan Martinsen, Graduate Intern in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management Division


Keeping Our Skies Safe, Part 2 of 2: Aviation safety rules and regulations

April 24, 2014

About this blog series: In this two-part blog post “Keeping Our Skies Safe”, we review the many processes and policies in place to regulate United States airspace and to protect air travelers, flight personnel and all sorts of aircraft flying U.S. skies. In “Keeping Our Skies Safe, Part 1 of 2: Aviation safety planning & response,” we covered the many aviation safety publications produced by the United States Federal Government, future plans to keep ahead of evolving flight safety issues, and U.S. emergency response.

In this post, “Keeping Our Skies Safe, Part 2 of 2: Aviation safety rules and regulations,” I wanted to go over some of the key U.S. regulations that govern the United States airspace including aircraft certifications, flight crew member certifications, pilot preparation, and airspace monitoring.

So, I began my search for information with the United States Code of Federal Regulations, commonly referred to as the CFR or CFRs, the codification or standardization of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by all the departments and agencies across the entire U.S. Federal Government. Each agency’s regulations are divided among the 50 volumes of the Code of Federal Regulations. For aviation safety, we must turn to the popular Title 14, Aeronautics and Space, which covers both the US Department of Transportation — Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations as well as those for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Where can you find the US standards for airplane maintenance—referred to as the “airworthiness standards”— as well as the certification procedures for both large and small aircraft parts and products, such as engines?

CFR-2014-PURPLECode of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Aeronautics and Space, Pt. 1-59, Revised as of January 1, 2014

Part 1-59 primarily covers the definitions and scope of the Federal Aviation Administration within the US Department of Transportation. The section specifically includes rulemaking as well as some nuts and bolts of our US air space, such as the airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes and commuter category airplanes, manned air balloons, engines, and propellers, rotary aircraft and transport rotary aircraft, plus certification procedures for parts and products, noise standards, aircraft registration and identification markings, and more.

Where is the best place to search for U.S. regulations covering flying certification for pilots, as well as their medical standards and certifications required for them to be able to take a plane up into U.S. airspace?

Google Images- Photo image  compliments of www.flyertalk.com

Google Images- Photo image compliments of http://www.flyertalk.com

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Aeronautics and Space, Pt. 60-109, Revised as of January 1, 2014

Part 60-109 covers more regulations relating to the Federal Aviation Administration within the US Department of Transportation. Specifically, this volume covers certification for pilots, flight instructors, ground instructors, flight crew members other than pilots and certification for airmen other than flight crew members. This part also includes medical standards and certifications. Air space routes, special use air space, general operating and flight rules, as well as special air traffic rules and standard instrument procedures are also included in this volume.

How about the U.S. regulations about the flight crew including flight duty limitations and drug and alcohol testing?

Google Images- Photo image compliments of pilotlights.net

Google Images- Photo image compliments of pilotlights.net

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Aeronautics and Space, Pt. 110-199, Revised as of January 1, 2014

Parts 110-199 cover more regulations pertaining to the Federal Aviation Administration within the US Department of Transportation. The primary focus of this volume is the flight crew. It includes the following: General requirements, Flight duty limitations and rest requirements for flight crew members, drug and alcohol testing program. It also covers the operational requirements and certification for airplanes having a seating capacity of more than 20 passengers and covers the foreign operations and foreign operators of U.S. registered aircraft engage in common carriage. This volume also includes the operating requirements for commuter and on-demand operations and rules governing persons on board such aircraft. Pilot schools, training centers, aviation maintenance schools are also covered with regulations in this volume. Aviation insurance requirements and airport certification, property and noise compatibility planning are also covered in this volume.

Google images- Photo image compliments of flysfo.com

Google images- Photo image compliments of flysfo.com

Are there any U.S. regulations relating to tarmac delay data, domestic baggage liabilities and international cargo and passenger transportation?

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Aeronautics and Space, Pt. 200-1199, Revised as of January 1, 2014

Parts 200-399 covers items, such as: the scheduled air carrier and charter trips of the United Sates; terms, conditions, and limitations on foreign air carriers, charter trips and commuter air carriers. It also covers the reporting statistics of foreign air carriers in civilian scheduled charter and non-scheduled services.

This part also contains regulations relating to airline service quality reports, tarmac delay data, direct airport-to-airport mileage records, domestic baggage liabilities, interstate cargo operations air transportation and international cargo and passenger transportation. Foreign freight forwarders and foreign cooperative shippers associations are also included in this part.

Parts 400-1199 covers license applications, safety approvals, and some regulations for the commercial space transportation including definitions, scope, rulemaking, investigations, and enforcement.

Google Images-Photo image compliments of Hawaii.gov

Google Images-Photo image compliments of Hawaii.gov

These volumes may interest the general public concerned about requirements for US flight crew members, and aircraft, especially in light of the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 . Aviation specialists, especially pilots and flight crew members that need to be aware of the US regulations relating certifications, airport routes, to aviation and airspace within the United Sates will also want to be aware of these essential regulations.

An online version of these volumes of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) can be found for free on GPO’s Federal Digital System at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionCfr.action?collectionCode=CFR or can be purchased through the US Government Bookstore at this link: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/CFR

How can I get these Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) publications ?

  • Shop Online Anytime: You can buy these print publications (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:
  • Order by Phone: You may also order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
  • Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
  • Visit a Federal Depository Library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or CGP.

About the Author – This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication & Information Sales division program office in Washington, DC.  Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution platforms and vendors such as Apple iBookstore, Google Play eBookstore, EBSCOhost, Overdrive, and more. Additionally, Maureen’s commercial publishing industry experience with publishing requirements, copyrights, product formats and content metadata and search optimization have helped Federal agencies publications be more discoverable through these consumer channels. A few examples of commercially popular Federal print books that were successfully migrated to digital include The Healthy Woman and The Basic Guide to Exporting.

 

 


Happy 25th Birthday, World Wide Web!

March 12, 2014

World Wide Web 25TH Anniversary logo. Happy 25 birthday, WWW, March 12 1989 to 2014Twenty-five years ago on March 12, 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, wrote a paper proposing the system now known as the World Wide Web. (Left: 25 Years logo courtesy Marketing Magazine UK.) It was originally conceived and developed as an improved means for instantaneous information-sharing between scientists around the world.

From DOD’s ARPANet to an Internet

The Internet itself had actually started as a creation of the U.S. Government’s Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) together with U.S. universities. It was in response to the Cold War need for a backup communications method in case the traditional phone networks were knocked out. The resulting mainframe-to-mainframe computer network in 1969 was called ARPANet, the foundation for today’s Internet. (Read the History Channel’s history of the invention of the Internet here.) Soon, other organizations, mostly universities and military, created their own private networks. When the University College in London and the Royal Radar Establishment in Norway) connected to ARPANET in 1973, the term Internet was born.

In 1974, the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) was launched with the introduction of a commercial version of ARPANET, known as Telenet, thus expanding the availability of the Internet. After the introduction of a new protocol called TCP/IP by computer scientists Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn (called “The Fathers of the Internet”) in 1974, diverse computer networks could easily interconnect with each other, transforming the “Internet” into a truly global network by the end of the 1970s.

However, by 1990, frustrated CERN scientists were using the text-only Internet with its bulletin boards and limited mainframe messaging, but it was not user-friendly for either the end users or the publishers of content.

From a text-only Internet to a graphical World Wide Web

After Berners-Lee’s proposal received the go-ahead from his boss at CERN, he went on to write software in his spare time, creating the first World Wide Web server (“httpd”) and the first web client “WorldWideWeb.”

This “World Wide Web browser” was a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) hypertext browser/editor that would install on their client (end user) computers, providing them with the first graphical interface for accessing Internet content (think of clicking on hyperlinks, viewing  photos and other graphical images, seeing text in different fonts, colors and sizes).

The World Wide Web was launched publicly on August 6, 1991, forever after providing the world a way to “browse the World Wide Web.”

Sir Tim Berners-Lee First World Wide Web Server 1990

Image: This NeXT workstation (a NeXTcube) was used by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1990-1 as the first Web server on the World Wide Web. Source: Wikipedia

In a guest blog post today on Google’s official blog, Sir Tim Berners-Lee explains the results of his World Wide Web idea:

In 1993, after much urging, CERN declared that WWW technology would be available to all, without paying royalties, forever.

This decision enabled tens of thousands to start working together to build the web. Now, about 40 percent of us are connected and creating online. The web has generated trillions of dollars of economic value, transformed education and healthcare and activated many new movements for democracy around the world. And we’re just getting started.

So, thank you, Sir Tim! The rest, as they say, is history.

Below is a timeline of Internet history from 1990 to 2007:

Internet timeline including World Wide Web and social media. Courtesy: Harbott.com

Internet timeline including World Wide Web and social media. Courtesy: Harbott.com

GPO’s History on the World Wide Web

GPO is joining in the celebration by commemorating our own moments in World Wide Web history:

1993:    The Government Printing Office Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act of 1993 was enacted (Public Law 103-40).

1994:    GPO Access launched (available by subscription; free to Federal depository libraries)

1995:    GPO Access became free to all users.

1995:    GPO began selling Government publications online with its “Sales Product Catalog” (now the site known as the U.S. Government Bookstore)

1996:    GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program Web site, “FDLP Administration,” launched (later named the FDLP Desktop and now FDLP.gov)

2000:    GPO’s kids’ site, Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government, launched.

Image: Home page of Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids as of March 12, 2014.

Image: Home page of Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids as of March 12, 2014.

2006:    The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, launched.

2009:    GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) launched.

2010:    GPO entered the world of social media, first with the launch of its YouTube Channel.

2013:      GPO relaunches its newly redesigned U.S. Government Bookstore ecommerce site at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/.

BEFORE (U.S. Government Online Bookstore 2000):

US_ Government_Online Bookstore_Wayback-Machine_20000708

Image: Snapshot of the home page of the U.S. Government Online Bookstore http://bookstore.gpo.gov/ as of July 8, 2000. Source: Internet Archive Wayback Machine http://archive.org/web/

AFTER (U.S. Government Online Bookstore today in 2014):

Image: Today's U.S. Government Online Bookstore home page as of March 12, 2014.

Image: Today’s U.S. Government Online Bookstore home page http://bookstore.gpo.gov/ as of March 12, 2014.

To see how your favorite websites looked in years past, visit the Internet Archive Wayback Machine at http://archive.org/web/ which archives snapshots of web pages since the World Wide Web launched.

Federal Publications for the Digital Age

The U.S. Government Online Bookstore carries a number of Federal publications that highlight the triumphs and the challenges of the digital age.

A History of Army Communications and Electronics at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, 1917-2007 (Hardcover) or Ebook  ISBN: 9780160813597 or 9780160869105One interesting read is, “A History of Army Communications and Electronics at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, 1917-2007 (Hardcover) and eBook.” This book details ninety years of communications-electronics achievements carried out by the scientists, engineers, logisticians and support staff at Fort Monmouth, NJ. It’s a fascinating read, as it details communications ranging from homing pigeons to frequency hopping tactical radios!

YouTube War: Fighting in a World of Cameras in Every Cell Phone and Photoshop on Every Computer by US Army War College & Strategic Studies InstituteAlso check out “YouTube War: Fighting in a World of Cameras in Every Cell Phone and Photoshop on Every Computer,” from the U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute. This publication discusses the digital environment in which we live that enables terrorists to film and instantly share their attacks within minutes of staging them. It also describes possible courses of action for the Army and the U.S. military as they seek to respond to an enemy in this type of environment.

Computers Take Flight: A History of NASA's Pioneering Digital Fly-by-wire Project ISBN: 9780160914423You might also be interested in, “Computers Take Flight: A History Of NASA’s Pioneering Digital Fly-by-wire Project.” This book details the flight research project which validated the principal concepts of all-electric flight control systems now used on nearly all modern high-performance aircraft and on military and civilian transports.

These, and a wide array of other interesting publications on related topics, can be found by browsing the U.S. Government Bookstore under the “Computers and Electronics” category. In addition, the World Wide Web has made obtaining eBooks possible, so our wide selection of free and/or inexpensive eBooks for consumers, industry, academia, military, law enforcement, legal community and more would be worth viewing as well.

How can I get these technology-related Federal publications?

  • Shop Online Anytime: You can buy this eBook or any other eBook, as well as print publications (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:
  • Order by Phone: You may also Order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
  • Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
  • Visit a Federal Depository Library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. (Librarians: You can find the records for most titles in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or CGP.)

About the authors: Guest blogger Kelly Seifert, Lead Planning Specialist for GPO’s Library Services & Content Management Division, writes about the World Wide Web’s 25th birthday and the array of Government publications available on the topics of computers and electronics.

Government Book Talk Editor Michele Bartram. Bartram is Promotions and Ecommerce Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore and promoting Federal government content to the public. A computer scientist and digital expert, Bartram remembers those early pre-WWW days using mainframe-based Internet and email and then using a web browser to “surf” the World Wide Web for the first time.


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