Coastal Night Photograph by the International Space Station (credit: Scott Kelly, NASA)
In a major science announcement last August while most people were on vacation, the US space agency NASA made all their research discoveries, data, imagery, and analysis available to the public for free. Access to the information is now just a click away, with the launch of an online portal with a searcheable database called: PubSpace.
According to the NASA:
"we are celebrating this opportunity to extend access to our extensive portfolio of scientific and technical publications. Through open access and innovation we invite the global community to join us in exploring Earth, air, and space. The portal is in response to a request from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, directing science-funding agencies to increase access to the results of their research."
Making federally-funded research easier to access can greatly magnify the impact of the research. Data and analysis from the geo-sciences, environmental change, marine and other natural resouce investigations produced by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA), the US Geological survey (USGS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and many other agencies is a resource for everyone to understand, appreciate, and utilize. NASA showed the way for all the other US government agencies to do their part when scienctific knowledge is needed now more than ever.