The NASA Shuttle Book No One Will Ever See (Updated)

"Wings In Orbit" Details Shuttle History By Those Who Made It Happen

"As NASA's space shuttle fleet nears retirement, the agency is preparing to release a comprehensive account of the program that managed the spacecraft and the dedicated people who made its accomplishments possible. The 500-plus-page book, "Wings in Orbit" is available for pre-publication sale. The book describes the scientific, engineering and cultural contributions of the space shuttle through text, photographs and graphics, written or selected by those who worked in the shuttle program. The book is slated for release in March. To order the book during the pre-publication sale through Dec. 31, visit: http://www.shopNASA.com"

Keith's 9 Dec note: FYI shopNASA.com is the JSC Gift shop. No mention is made of that in this press release/advertisement. The cost of the book is $50 for soft cover and $90 for hardcover - and this is a government publication prepared by government employees, promoted by the government. I can't say for certain from the cover image I found but it sure looks like this has an official NASA "SP" number on it.

I have asked NASA: Does the JSC Exchange have an exclusive on the sale of this government book? Will copies be provided to taxpayers? If hard copies are being printed at government expense who are they being distributed to? Can you send me a PDF of the book? Can I get the original publication art such that I can republish this book?

NASA issued this solicitation in July 2010 but they are not complying with what they are supposed to be doing i.e. providing PDF versions etc. on a website or allowing others to have access to this copyright free, government-produced material. There is no mention of sole sourcing but that is exactly what they are doing - and they are providing free government advertising for that one publisher.

One would think that if NASA really wanted people to read this book that they'd find a way to offer it on Amazon.com, iBooks, etc. and not sole source it to a field center gift shop. Imagine zillions of copies on Kindle and iPads for the holidays ... yet another example that NASA simply does not understand marketing its brand.

Keith's 10 Dec update: I just got this very prompt response to my questions from Mike Curie at NASA PAO. It answers many - but not all of my concerns - but NASA was fast in responding. (see below)

Keith's 10 Dec update: I just got this very prompt response to my questions from Mike Curie at NASA PAO. It answers many - but not all of my concerns - but NASA was fast in responding. (see below)

Does the JSC exchange have an exclusive on the sale of this government book?

No, the JSC exchange does not have an exclusive on the sale of the book. The Government Printing Office (GPO) will sell the book as well as market it to book stores and companies like Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Any company including the NASA exchange stores can buy it from GPO. This publication is a NASA Scientific Publication with a NASA number. NASA has published both with GPO as well as with commercial companies. A good example are those publications by the NASA history office as well as the GPO produced book on Neurolab. Other examples are the 911 report and the Katrina report, both sold by GPO all over the country. The JSC exchange store took the risk by offering to sell books prior to knowing their final costs, and any other store/company can do that if they choose to.

Will copies be provided to taxpayers?

Yes, by the exchange store and companies like Amazon that will be offered the book.

If hard copies are being printed at government expense who are they being distributed to?

Other than those sold through the exchange store, a limited number will be distributed to NASA stakeholders, but that has not yet been determined.

Can you send me a PDF of the book?

It is in final editing and review. It is not copyright protected except for those parts where the authors got permissions to reproduce. It will be available on the NASA web site as a 508 compliant (html) and PDF at the same time as the book release, probably in March.

Can I get the original publication art such that I can republish this book?

We are asking and will let you know ASAP.

  • submit to reddit


Loading






Join our mailing list




Commercialization: Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 9, 2010 5:18 PM.

Dragon's Secret Payload Revealed (Photos) was the previous entry in this blog.

Duct Tape and Rockets is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.