This is the Web Edition of "A Trip Into Space", a Coimbra-based electronic book on space science. Both the texts and the photos are by courtesy of National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Few years ago we started out to create a handy and effective solution for providing network based, interactive teaching material. Since simple Web standards do not support all features we needed for this project (e.g. automatic indexing of the material, true interactive simulations, configurable courses, cluster analysis of contents, examinations, ...), we decided to create our own framework. The first product using this framework was "Teach/Me Data Analysis", which has been published by Springer, Berlin-New York-Tokyo, in 1999.

The success of "Teach/Me Data Analysis" encouraged us to further develop this framework. The result was a completely new design of the technical basis and the development system (dubbed "Coimbra"). Coimbra is based on a document database containing not only the documents (texts, images, multi-media pieces, simulations, etc) but also meta information on the contents of these documents. This concept allows us to create a wide variety of products based on the same technical concept. For a comprehensive collection of Coimbra-based eBooks please visit the VIAS Web site.

One of these products is "A Trip Into Space", which is an electronic book on space science. It contains a collection of images (mostly highlights) together with background information on the corresponding topics. "A Trip Into Space" is based on the fantastic public domain material provided by the NASA. It is made available under the Creative Commons License.

It is clear that a product like this can only be created by enthusiasts who are willing to invest many hours of their leisure time into this project. All of us five, who contributed to the product have spent many hours to finish this product. I would like to thank Andrea Wessely who did most of the work in compiling and indexing the material. It is also a great pleasure for me to thank Dr. Edgar Weippl for contributing many great ideas on technical issues of Coimbra.

I hope that you enjoy this electronic book as much as we do. If you have suggestions for improvements or if you find any bugs in  the material, please don't hesitate to contact us at

Hans Lohninger
Vienna, Austria
February 2000

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Epina makes every attempt to use media (e.g., graphics, artwork, sounds) that is free for use or in the public domain. If you notice copyright violations on any of these pages, please contact us at  Of course, it is not our intention to use material illegally. Many items are collected from the Internet, where copyright information is often not available.

Last Update: 2005-Nov-01