Only NASA Could Make Space Exploration Boring

5...4...3...2...Yawwwwwn, ABC News

"What if we saw more of that on NASA TV? What if the cameras were live 24 hours a day on the space station and you could peek at the crew anytime you wanted to and see and hear what they were doing, rather than the one hour a day in the morning NASA lets you see a carefully programmed presentation?"

Editor's note: Did you know that there are as many as a dozen live cameras, some which can send HiDef video back to earth 24-7-365? Many of them look at the ISS and the Earth. Yet JSC refuses to allow that video to be streamed live over the Internet. Even NASA HQ can't make them do it.

As for the more popular aspect of the STS-126 mission, the lost tool bag, this has become a rather popular topic of discussion in the news. And no, the talk on the news does not totally focus on NASA screwing up by losing this bag. Instead, broadcasts such as the NBC Nightly News focused - as did a number of websites - on how anyone can look up track this small object in space all by themselves. Some people have actually videotaped it. Yet I cannot find any evidence that NASA's Human Spaceflight website or on its ISS/Shuttle tracking page have done anything to build upon this obvious public interest so as to facilitate more sightings. At least for a moment, a lot of people could participate albeit from afar, in the observation of this unintended satellite. But NASA does not seem to care.

This points to a critical - and chronic - failure as to how NASA interacts with the public. Something captures the public's attention in a way that normally does not happen with shuttle missions such that they are drawn to lookup at the night sky. Does NASA do anything to encourage that behavior? No. Instead they treat this toolbag as a nuisance - one that they hope will go away. Alas, that is also how they are treating public interest in NASA. And if they are not careful, that interest will most certainly go away too.

Joe Six Pack and NASA, earlier post

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on November 30, 2008 7:31 PM.

STS-126 Update was the previous entry in this blog.

Struggling to Respond is the next entry in this blog.

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