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As this question is more about resources to ask/answer questions than actual space exploration, I am asking it on meta. Feel free to adjust tags as appropriate.


The NASA Technical Reports Server allows searching from three databases:

  • NASA STI (536297)
  • NACA (14612)
  • NIX (466225)

The first is obviously NASA's own document collection. The second is NASA's predecessor agency, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics.

What is NIX? I usually have it unchecked; does it have any documents that would reasonably help ask or answer a question?

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NIX doesn't really exist any more. It was one of the many redundant image sites NASA had, specifically one hosted at Langley. It used to look like this.

enter image description here

(internet archive link)

Note that the weblink today doesn't go anywhere.

enter image description here

I haven't tested them all, but results found through checking the NIX option on ntrs generally result in broken links.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. The NTRS site currently has a banner that they are improving the search abilities. Hopefully they will follow through on that. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon Jun 7 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Do any of the NIX results have Wayback Machine archive pages? Because it still might be useful in that case. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jun 8 at 11:24
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage no, the backend servers are gone. Internet Archive didn't capture all that stuff. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 8 at 13:37
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Hmm, I had a moment to try myself, and the very first search result I got from NIX was in the Internet Archive. They may not have captured all of it, but it may still be useful. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jun 8 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage I searched for 'wind tunnel' and got a 404. YMMV $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 8 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ I'm getting about a one out of five ratio on hits in the Internet Archive. So there's a lot missing but there's a good amount there. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jun 8 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ You're right about wind tunnel though, the top 10 are all absent from the Internet Archive $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jun 8 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ Odd considering it was hosted at Langley ¯_(ツ)_/¯ $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 8 at 15:39
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According to NASA itself,

The NASA Image eXchange (NIX) is a web-based search engine for simultaneously searching one or more of NASA's online image and photo collections.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so they might be helpful (if you can't find an appropriate picture in any other way). But YMMV ...

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  • $\begingroup$ YMMV: "written abbreviation for your mileage may vary: used, for example on social media and in text messages and emails, to mean that you understand people may have a different opinion or experience to yours" from dictionary.cambridge.org. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 6 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ This information is out of date and incorrect. Note that the NIX link in your reference ends up at ntrs. NASA is very bad at keeping their web sites current. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 7 at 15:43

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