"NASA/GSFC intends to purchase the services from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, under the authority of FAR 13.106-1(b)(1) for the acquisition of supplies or services reasonably available from one source. This vendor is the only organization that creates outreach kits for amateur astronomy clubs located across the country."
Night Sky Network, Astronomical Society of the Pacific
"Amateur astronomy clubs dedicated to sharing astronomy with the public are invited to apply for membership in the NASA Night Sky Network (http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/), a free program specifically designed for amateur astronomy clubs that puts great resources right into your hands."
Editor's note: I think that this is great news that GSFC is getting involved in something like this and they should be commended for doing so. Yet I am a little confused. According to the NASA JPL Night Sky Network FAQ "Membership in the Night Sky Network is free." ... "The Night Sky Network is sponsored and supported by JPL's PlanetQuest public engagement program. PlanetQuest is a part of JPL's Navigator Program... The Origins Education Forum, based at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, is an association of the education and public outreach programs of the NASA missions seeking to understand and characterize the origins of the universe, planets, and life."
If this activity is free - and NASA JPL and the STScI (in Maryland) are already involved, why does GSFC have to procure anything? Can't they just sign up like everyone else? Can't JPL and GSFC work together on this - and invite all other NASA field centers to do so as well? Indeed, why does this need to be done on a center-by center basis? Everyone can see the sky. Shouldn't NASA HQ's Strategic Communications' Education organization be doing this for NASA - as an agency?