Why Is NASA Blurring These SLS Photos? (Update)

Keith's note: I got this from NASA HQ PAO today: "Our colleagues at Marshall Space Flight Center looked into your questions. You probably already know this, but before NASA images of Space Launch System hardware under development are released to the media or on NASA web or social sites, the images are reviewed by both NASA and Boeing export control representatives to ensure they don't contain sensitive data. In some cases, the export control representative will allow release of the image, if certain sensitive hardware features are blurred. A NASA public affairs officer also reviews the images before they're released. NASA's policy on image use can be found here.

Teams at Marshall followed standard agency procedures for clearing the blurred forward join images on NASA Watch and NASASpaceflight.com. Some export controlled features were blurred in these images made by NASA photographers so that images of this milestone could be released. As hardware is completed, it becomes more sensitive in nature. NASA export control officers are taking another look at these images to determine whether they contain sensitive material or was it so early in development that the feature shown was not sensitive. So some cases, such as it seems to be with these images, hardware that doesn't start out ITAR sensitive can become ITAR sensitive as it's developed, and images of them are blurred accordingly so they can be released publicly."

In summary: someone at NASA/Boeing decided that something on the SLS Intertank that was not ITAR sensitive became ITAR sensitive at some point and they started to blur photos of that ITAR sensitive thing. But since I asked about the blurring of the images the ITAR people are going to go back and see if the ITAR sensitive thing was really ITAR sensitive to begin with. So .. media inquiries are now part of the process of deciding of something is/is not ITAR sensitive, I guess.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 23, 2019 6:34 PM.

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