If you're the type that simply can't get enough of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, more commonly known as NASA, but are not in a position where you would be able to get your fix, then you're in luck. The agency announced over the weekend a massive new public project that has made all of its research available for free online.
The portal, called Pubspace, hosts a multitude of NASA research topics that anyone who has expressed any level of interest in the group's work in the past will no doubt enjoy, ranging in topics like the toxicity of lunar dust or the composition of Earth's early atmosphere, to keeping fit in space and the ages of the lunar seas.
"At NASA, we are celebrating this opportunity to extend access to our extensive portfolio of scientific and technical publications," said NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman. "Through open access and innovation we invite the global community to join us in exploring Earth, air and space."
This development was made possible thanks to the Obama Administration, which in 2013, directed NASA and other agencies to increase access to their research, which was typically hidden behind a paywall (if it was available online in the first place). Now, NASA will be required to post any research articles funded by it on Pubspace within a year of publication.
As one might expect, however, not all of NASA's research will be available for viewing. Research relating to national security or patents is exempt from this new rule, though for what it's worth, they were never available to begin with — not even to those who paid. Regardless, as of writing this, there are already 863 articles available on the website, and that number will only increase as time passes.
"Making our research data easier to access will greatly magnify the impact of our research," Ellen Stofan, NASA's Chief Scientist, said in a statement. "As scientists and engineers, we work by building upon a foundation laid by others."
NASA isn't the only one making a hefty portion of its research available to the public; this move is one mirrored by the worldwide scientific community that is collectively moving toward making knowledge more available to the public. For example, the EU announced in May that it has plans to make all European scientific papers available for free by 2020.