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Students can keep learning in place and take a jump off-planet with Out of This World, an eight-book series that explores the next frontiers of space. Discover laser sailing starships, hitchhike to asteroids, explore alien caves and more in this easy-to-read series based on real NASA research.

World Book is offering virtual access to all eight e-books free of charge to support educators, parents and students during the coronavirus pandemic.

The series, developed by World Book, Inc. in partnership with NASA, features stories about the lives and scientific work of NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) researchers. NIAC supports the next generation of space exploration by investing in visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions with the creation of radically better or entirely new concepts, helping to turn science fiction into science fact.

Books in the first Out of This World series available online include:

  • Alien Cave Explorers: Learn about engineer William ‘Red’ Whittaker’s work designing robots to explore caves on Mars.
  • Asteroid-Harpooning Hitcher: Discover engineer Masahiro Ono’s research into harpooning a passing asteroid to hitch a ride into space.
  • Land-Sailing Venus Rover: Read about scientist and science-fiction writer Geoffrey Landis and his idea to sail spacecraft across the surface of Venus.
  • Laser-Sailing Starships: Learn about physicist Philip Lubin’s investigation of space probes that can sail to the stars on a beam of light.
  • Printable Probes and Cosmic Confetti: Explore engineer Kendra Short’s research into landing space probes with ease by creating an entirely new type of computer.
  • Solar-Wind-Riding Electric Sail: Discover engineer Bruce Wiegmann’s investigation of using solar wind to travel faster and farther into deep space.
  • Squishy, Fishy Robot Explorers: Learn about engineering professor Mason Peck’s idea to create fishlike robots to explore distant and unknown bodies of water, like the icy ocean of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
  • Web-Spinning Space Spiders: Read about physicist and engineer Robert Hoyt’s work to create spiderlike machines to construct spacecraft orbiting around Earth.

The Out of This World series was created to inspire children and engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The series is geared toward reading levels in grades 4-8 and received two Top 10 awards from the American Library Association Booklist, for nonfiction series and series on space science and exploration.


BY Loura Hall for