Two NASA Publications You Need to Discover

January 3, 2017

A lot of stuff goes on at NASA besides pioneering the next steps in space exploration and taking humanity to the next achievable frontier. There’s simply no end to the research and technology that world’s biggest space agency puts forth.

GPO makes available two publications that are great examples of such space-related science.

033-000-01378-7_tour-of-the-electromagnetic-spectrumTour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Radiation is everywhere, at all times. Radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, gamma rays, x-rays, and ultraviolet rays are types of radiation. Physicists call them electromagnetic waves. Together, these electromagnetic waves constitute the electromagnetic spectrum. Each wave type carries a distinct level of photon energy.

This publication breaks down the anatomy, behaviors, and categories of waves. And it shows how scientists visualize wave using NASA science examples.

033-000-01328-1_the-sun-the-earth-and-near-earth-space-a-guide-to-the-sun-earth-750The Sun, the Earth, and the Near-Earth Space: A Guide to the Sun-Earth System

Our space environment is complex system of electric currents, magnetic fields, and radiation. All of those forces affect near-Earth and Sun-Earth energy relationships.

This publication uses tables, graphs, and illustrations to detail space-weather and sun climate phenomena. It’s a valuable reference for understanding that big, close star’s effect on our planet.

Author John A. Eddy writes in his introduction (making a great conclusion to this blog post), “In a world of warmth and light and living things we soon forget that we are surrounded by a vast universe that is cold and dark and deadly dangerous, just beyond our door.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE PUBLICATIONS?

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.


NASA Publications Hotter Than the Sun

September 7, 2016

It seems like there’s no end to the number of articles and books written about and by NASA. But then again, there’s no end to the research and technology that NASA puts forth. Of course, it’s not nearly enough to fill the cosmos that the agency so intrepidly explores. Yet, as always, NASA’s pioneering science and technology research endeavors to take humanity to the next achievable frontier.

If you’re ready to sponge up more of NASA’s scientific discoveries, or you’re just interested in all things space-related, check out these publications available through GPO. Countdown to liftoff…3…2…1…

 NASA’s Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration

033-000-01376-1In this century, NASA may have the answer to the David Bowie song “Life on Mars?” The agency’s goal is to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and then to Mars in the 2030s. This booklet serves as a mission framing document.

Four decades of robotic missions and spaceflight have developed and tested the technologies needed for exploration of deep space. Data gathered by surface scouts show that the Martian environment may be suitable—and sustainable—for a human presence. In response, NASA is leveraging core capabilities to “logically progress from current Earth Reliant operations…to Earth Independent pioneering.”

While much remains to be learned about extending human presence in space, “we are closer to sending humans to Mars than at any point in NASA’s history.” Just in case life is ever found on the Red Planet, or any planet for that matter, NASA has an Office of Planetary Protection. No kidding.

Spinoff, 2016

033-000-01375-2_spinoff-2016According to NASA’s 2016 budget, the Federal Government spends about 0.5% of its purse on the world’s biggest space agency. That means NASA receives $0.005 of every taxpayer dollar. It pours those cents into groundbreaking technologies, many of which have been successfully commercialized through the Technology Transfer Program.

Spinoff, 2016 profiles the novel inventions that have spun off into handy applications for transportation, health and medicine, information technology, and even consumer goods. Here are a few highlights:

  • An astronaut G-suit saves women from post-birth hemorrhaging.
  • A Mars methane detector can identify dangerous gas leaks.
  • A CO2 recovery system allows microbrewers to more efficiently carbonate beer.

As Administrator Charlie Bolden writes in his foreword to book, NASA’s work has resulted in “technology coming down to Earth…[these] spinoffs have made an impact on nearly every facet of American life.”

Reference Guide to the International Space Station

033-000-01373-6The International Space Station (ISS) is both the most complex scientific effort and the most expensive project ever undertaken. This reference guide details the unique research accommodations, support systems, and international partnerships that lend credibility to the ISS’ position as an extremely agile—and awe-inspiring—platform of discovery.

This orbiting laboratory of weightless, extreme conditions has a low-orbit path over 90 percent of the Earth’s population. Tricked-out features enable it to execute research that cannot be done anywhere else. Eighty-three countries that have been involved with its activities. And astronauts use it as a “proving ground” to solve difficult challenges associated with establishing viable human activity beyond Earth. The ISS is truly a symbol of the best of human knowledge and cooperation.

Fun fact: you can sign up to receive text messages from NASA whenever the International Space Station passes over your location!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE NASA PUBLICATIONS?

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.


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.


NASA at 50… Plus 5

August 2, 2013

So many kids growing up in the United States dream of being astronauts, and flying through space. Many adult Americans can remember where they were when the Eagle landed, or when (sadly) the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. You know you’re invested in American culture when you can successfully use the phrase, “Houston, we’ve had a problem” in a social conversation.

HoustonProblemImage: In NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, Texas, in April 1970, there definitely was a problem with the Apollo 13 mission. Here, the Gold Team, directed by Gerald Griffin (seated, back of head to camera), prepares to take over from Black Team (Glynn Lunney, seated, in profile) during a critical period of the Apollo 13 mission to save it– and all the astronauts on board– from disaster. Source: NASA. Read a first-hand account by Apollo 13 Commander, Jim Lovell, of all the “problems.”

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the reason why we have these touchstones in American culture.

NASA at 50: Interviews With NASA's Senior Leadership ISBN: 9780160914478On July 29, NASA celebrated the 55th anniversary of its founding in 1958; the agency has been doing its job passionately for the last fifty-five years.

When NASA hit its fiftieth anniversary, NASA issued commemorative volumes in 2009. NASA at 50: Interviews With NASA’s Senior Leadership takes a look at the new direction senior management wants to guide the agency towards after its first successful half-century.

It really is interesting for readers to look back at NASA’s storied past on this memorable occasion. NASA added to this retrospective  with the companion volume, NASA’s First 50 Years: Historical Perspectives. However, space exploration fans will be eager to learn more about NASA’s future as well as its past, and that’s the purpose of this book.

NASA's First 50 Years: Historical Perspectives; NASA 50 Anniversary Proceedings ISBN: 9780160849657Since NASA’s fiftieth anniversary “found an agency in the midst of deep transition” as Steven Dick, NASA’s chief historian noted, the interviews in NASA at 50: Interviews With NASA’s Senior Leadership review the high points in that transition. Obviously, there’s solid coverage of the end of the Space Shuttle Program, but the text also covers senior management’s thoughts on their work with the new project called Constellation. Constellation includes multiple elements, such as the new launch vehicle Ares I, a human capsule named Orion, and the lunar lander Altair.

The two reporters from NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Rebecca Wright and Sandra Johnson, interviewed twenty-four members of senior NASA management to get their perspectives and subject matter expertise on the various program agendas planned for the coming years. The authors included questions directed to the general public more than you might suspect. For example, “Why would you encourage anyone to work for NASA?”, and “Do you find that aeronautics will continue to be a part of NASA in its future?” would appeal to anyone who is interested in working for NASA in years to come; the answers are given in plain, accessible language. Portraits of the interview subjects and an extensive index are included. Policy specialists, aerospace engineers, aerospace engineering and physics students and space exploration fans will all enjoy and take value from NASA at 50: Interviews With NASA’s Senior Leadership.

Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery From Space ISBN: 9780160910647Another book for aeronautics and space exploration fans to explore while celebrating NASA’s fifty-five years is Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery From SpaceIt’s mainly a historical perspective of the technical aspects of shuttlecraft re-entry and recovery after landing. Although the authors used really plan, direct language when writing, the concepts covered are fairly high-level aeronautics for non-professionals to understand. For example:

“Even the CEV, a program that returns to a capsule concept with a blunt-body ablative heat shield and parachutes (or perhaps a Rogallo wing) to return to Earth (or perhaps, the ocean), proved a challenge for engineers” (p. x).

It’s probable that this volume would mainly be of interest to aeronautics and electrical engineers and physicists, or students or policy analysts of those fields, whose area of interest is space exploration. Since the language is so simple, though, I could imagine an ambitious high-school student who is interested in space reading this too, although she or he might need to research some of the tougher concepts (e.g., ablative in any sense other than grammatical cases). Coming home with a safe reentry and recovery was certainly of interest to the Apollo 13 crew!

If you do choose to celebrate NASA’s fifty-fifth anniversary, maybe the best celebratory method (in addition to eating cake) is to read more about NASA. Find out their next steps, and cheer them on in their quest to further science by:

“Explor[ing] the earth, solar system and universe beyond; chart[ing] the best route of discovery; and reap[ing] the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society” (About NASA, Web site).

How can I find these NASA publications?

You can find all the books mentioned here at the GPO Online Bookstore. While you’re at it, you might want to pick up a set of five full-color NASA bookmarks: NASA Space Shuttle Bookmarks: Atlantis, Challenger, Columbia, Discovery, Endeavour to keep your place in these books. Just like party favors, right?

  • 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 our Retail Store: Buy them 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, (202) 512-0132.
  • Find them in a Library: Search for them in a Library.

Federal Depository Librarians:

About the author(s): Our guest blogger is Jennifer K. Davis from GPO’s Library Services & Content Management Division that supports the Federal Depository Libraries Program (FDLP). Editor: Government Book Talk Editor-in-Chief and , GPO Promotions & Ecommerce Manager, Michele Bartram.


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