NASA aeronautics research has kicked off an ongoing project to format archived and government-published books that can be read on digital devices. Credit: NASA
The X-15 hypersonic research aircraft flew 199 missions and gathered valuable data to help future generations of high-speed aircraft. Credit: NASA
E-book readers are expected to be among the hottest holiday gifts this year and their growing popularity has stirred NASA to begin reformatting its most popular aviation books to be compatible with the digital devices.
Available on the NASA aeronautics research Web site, the e-books can be downloaded at no charge for use with the Kindle™, SONY® Reader and, eventually, the nook™. Other formats for those without an e-book reader will be available as well.
The first NASA book to be made available is X-15: Extending the Frontiers of Flight by Dennis R. Jenkins. The book tells the story of the pioneering rocketplane that tested the limits of aviation during the 1960s and directly influenced the design and operation of the space shuttle.
"NASA's contributions to aviation affect everyone who has ever stepped foot inside an airplane. Now anyone can read about this historic aeronautical research with the convenience of a hand-held device," said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.
Next up on the list of books offered is Apollo of Aeronautics: NASA's Aircraft Energy Efficiency Program, 1973-1987 by Mark D. Bowles. This award-winning publication details the innovative research to improve aircraft and jet engine design in order to reduce fuel consumption by 50 percent.
And even as all archived NASA aeronautics books are being reformatted for use with the various e-book readers, plans are set for all future government-published books covering NASA's aeronautics research to be made available in e-book format.