May 5th is National Astronaut Day and National Space Day!

May 4, 2017

Over the years Americans have had many moments of shared pride over the accomplishments and dedication of astronauts who have risked their lives to study and explore outer space. What’s less known about these amazing space flights of John Glenn and so many other space adventurers is the technical and scientific wonders that have been developed in support of the American space program, but now live on as products we enjoy every day.

One place to learn about these “space wonders” is the publication Spinoff. Published by NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, the ongoing issues of Spinoff uncover specific products that have been born out of the works of scientists and new product developers in support of the space program. Later on, many of these products find new lives as everyday items that benefit all of us.

At you can obtain copies of recent issues of Spinoff. Go to the front page search bar and simply type in Spinoff.

It’s important to recognize that NASA funding goes far beyond simply supporting space exploration.  As new technologies are developed, NASA often collaborates with American businesses. Every dollar spent on technology for space missions is a dollar spent here on Earth, benefiting the economy. And all of us.

Stop by not only to get your copy of Spinoff but to look for other publications from NASA that celebrate the adventurers and incredible national dedication of men like John Glenn and women such as Sally Pride.


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

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 Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.

The Great Beyond…On Earth?

July 20, 2011

Guest blogger Camille Turner takes a look at where our universe has come from and where it is going.

I think like many members of my generation, my interest in space sparked with  Steven Speilberg’s E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, and then there was no looking back. Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context from the NASA History Series maintains a lot of those same wonderful aspects as a Spielberg flick; it’s enjoyable, it defines itself through the particulars of science and the unknown, and it creates a universal appeal by tapping into the bigger questions of how culture itself has evolved to what it is today.

One of the really amazing aspects to this book is that it isn’t just an exploration of space: experts from an array of fields including science, history and anthropology, all explore culture in the context of the cosmos. By investigating a set of recurring principles, particularly evolution, the authors of each section relate a principle to the expansion of the cosmos, in such a way that makes perfect sense.

For instance, when evolution was first established as a concept, it was considered blasphemous. Now, it is not only accepted in every arena of science; it is a symbol of cultural values, as can be seen by the fish on the back of cars containing the word “Darwin” and occasionally growing feet.

The authors of Cosmos and Culture take these widely accepted ideas and push them one step further: if we see evolution everywhere, even in the evolution of technology and physics, how could the cosmos not be evolving too?

Even better: the entire book is written in layman’s terms. By utilizing diagrams when needed and expanding on common metaphors to maintain the reader’s interest, this seemingly intimidating volume becomes a manageable and enjoyable read.

For scientists, space enthusiasts and history lovers alike, this volume transcends most lines between astronomical and sociological research to fuse into a compelling detailing of where our universe has come from and where we are going, both culturally and evolutionarily.

You can get a copy from our online bookstore or find it in a library.

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