"NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Innovative Partnership Program (IPP) and Earth Science Division will be hosting a Commercial Suborbital Vehicles Workshop at the GSFC on September 7, 2011. The purpose of the proposed workshop is to provide information for Earth and Space scientists about these vehicles capabilities, and to examine and discuss science topics that might be conducted from these platforms."
Keith's 31 Aug note: On 14 August I sent several requests to NASA GSFC PAO asking for information on this meeting including media access. A representative replied "The detailed agenda is still being worked out but it is our intent to invite reporters to the event. The only factor I know of that might prevent reporters from attending the full meeting would be if some part of the presentation or discussion involves information that is of a sensitive/proprietary nature. I expect a media advisory will be issued sometime around the end of this month with full details of the agenda and how media can register."
It has been 2 weeks and I have not received any further information on this event. The event is less than a week away with a long weekend in between. For those people who have not read about this on NASA Watch, this lack of advance notice from NASA is going to decrease the number of people in attendance. I know the reps from these companies - and I have heard them all make their pitches before - and I would be astonished if one company was going to talk about their sensitive/proprietary stuff in front of their competitors. No mention of this meeting is made on the GSFC IPP website, the NASA HQ OCT website, the NASA SMD website, or NASA.gov. Given the recent Progress failure and the increased focus on commercial alternatives for ISS access I simply cannot see how NASA can afford to not make this as open as possible given that COTS and WFF launch facilities are on the agenda.
Keith's 1 Sep update: GSFC PAO finally tells me this morning that a media advisory will be out later today. Hmm, let's see - NASA is going to issue the first public mention of this event on the Thursday before Labor Day weekend - and the event is less than a week later. Talk about a perfect time to quietly announce something that no one will notice - and that many people will skip due to the cost of last minute airline tickets. It is blatantly obvious that GSFC and SMD are not interested in outside scrutiny with regard to this event.
Keith's second 1 Sep update: NASA GSFC PAO finally got around to issuing a media advisory "Media Invited to Commercial Suborbital Vehicle Workshop". But unless I missed something, they never issued a press release or announcement inviting scientists, engineers, and commercial representatives to this meeting - which is the whole point of this event to begin with. All that was issued was an email sent to a small group of individuals several weeks ago - not to the suborbital community as a whole. There is still no mention of this event on any NASA websites. How are the people involved in this area of research supposed to know about this meeting? No public information has been provided so as to allow these people to register and attend. Baffling.