Data submitted to NSSDC are grouped into NSSDC identified Data Collections. NSSDC identifies one or more specific scientific disciplines that are associated with each NSSDC Data Collection. NSSDC data collections consist of individual data components or Archival Information Packages (AIPs). The designated community for any particular data component or AIP is the set of individuals who are undergoing or have completed a college-level degree program or have equivalent experience in one of the specific scientific disciplines associated with any NSSDC data collection which contains that AIP. In addition, individuals in the designated community are expected to be sufficiently fluent in English in order to understand NSSDC's English-based representation information.
Many NSSDC holdings are also available to the general public. In general, the representation information associated with the individual data component or AIP is designed to make the data usable by a scientist with the appropriate college-level education or equivalent. Although NSSDC distributes the data to the general public, the general public is not considered to be part of the designated community for these data. NSSDC staff is not generally available to support use of the data by individuals without the appropriate background.
Further questions about data availability and ordering can be found on our Obtaining Data page.