Editor's note: I got this from a reader tonight. I give up. We're talking about a 15 year old spacecraft - one which was destroyed years ago - of which high resolution images are readily available - and have been in the public domain for decades. And the drawings are ITAR-controlled?
Oh yea I forgot - we did attack the planet Jupiter with Galileo in 1997. OK. My bad. I guess that makes it a weapon.
Still, I wonder what would happen if more people made the same FOIA request. Here's where you can do it yourself online.
The following response is the result of a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request sent to NASA JPL several months ago:
Dear Mr. Brotherton:
Your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for release of information from the files of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was received in FOIA processing at the NASA Management Office-Jet Propulsion Laboratory on July 16, 2007. You requested the following:
"...scale outline drawings of the Galileo spacecraft ... ... I would like to get a view from all six axis, X, -X, Y, -Y, Z and -Z.. . "
The records you requested contains International Traffic in Arms regulated information on design parameters, requirements and mission operational information consistent with that described in 22 CFR 120.10(a)(l), and is exempt from release under Title 5, USC, Section 552, Exemptions (b)(2) High and (b)(3) of the FOIA, to wit: Information, other than software as defined in 120.10(4), which is required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly... operation, repair, testing, maintenance or modification of defense articles. This includes information in the form of blueprints. drawings, photographs, plans, instructions and documentation. However, you may access instructions to make a Galileo 1/45th scale model that includes drawings and pictures cleared for public release from the following website: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/model/instructions.html.
You may appeal this initial determination to the NASA Administrator...
Editor's note: "Comment from Scott Brotherton: I have recently be told that my name and information was used in a slanted article at your site. The article by Keith Cowing on Thursday, September 27, 2007 named "NASA Blocks Release Of Galileo Jovian Spacecraft Drawings on ITAR Grounds". I would probably not mine my name being used if the article had told the whole truth of the matter. I was granted my request, and did receive the drawings I requested. However, due to Mr. Cowing's blatant half truth of the matter, it looks like NASA is the bad guy. Mr. Cowing has tried to make a story out of nothing, as the premise of his title is not even accurate."
Editor's response: I am pleased, of course, to see that some common sense prevailed at NASA. But yes, Mr. Brotherton, since you phrased it this way, someone at NASA was indeed "the bad guy" for making this nonsensical refusal of your initial request in the first place. Why else did you post this letter, I wonder?