The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy suggested in 2013 that NASA and other agencies render their research more accessible.
NASA has now done this rather emphatically, by making the vast majority of its research available online for free, and all new research funded by the agency will be online within one year of publication. Currently there are nearly 1,000 articles available from NASA on Pubspace.
There are exceptions, of course—research related to national security, for example, will not be accessible. Still, readers can learn about how cool space stuff works, like exercising in zero gravity and 400-foot tsunamis.
NASA research has helped spin off many useful products in the past, including scratch-resistant lenses, firefighting equipment, and solar cells.