NASA Seeks Public Input On Something That The Public Cannot See

Keith's note: Make sure you read this carefully. NASA Wants your input on something that they use to coordinate public outreach. They call it NSPIREHub and apparently it is a very cool thing. At least they think so. Update: check below. NASA responded - exactly as I expected them to ...

Name of Information Collection: NASA Serves the Public To Inspire Reach-Out and Engage (NSPIREHub), NASA via Federal Register

"The NASA Serves the Public to Inspire Reach-Out and Engage (NSPIREHub) is a one-stop, web-based volunteer management system that streamlines communications, recruitment and marketing and enhances reporting and management of official outreach events. The NSPIREHub engages, informs and inspires current docents, employees (civil servants and contractors), interns and qualified members of the general public to share NASA's advancements, challenges and contributions through participation in official outreach (i.e., launch support, special events support activities, etc.).

The NSPIREHub utilizes a multiple tiered, role-based NAMS provisioning to empower system administrators to request and collect specific user information for the purpose of coordinating the carrying out of NASA's official outreach activities. These specific purposes include but are not limited To: Facilitating pre-event briefings, onsite and virtual support trainings, shadowing opportunities and assignment scheduling.

The information collected and protected within the NSPIREHub helps to ensure all outreach support team members, prior to serving, are equipped with the tools, skills and confidence necessary to share their stories in alignment with NASA's communication priorities. It also makes possible the efficient reporting of metric data relevant to the impact of official outreach on fulfillment of NASA's responsibilities as related to the Space Act, Section 203."

I Googled "NSPIREHub" and got nothing. I used the NASA.gov search engine got nothing. I even tried NTRS. Nothing. I tried searching for "NASA Serves the Public to Inspire Reach-Out and Engage". Nothing - except this Federal Register notice, that is. This Federal Register posting says that NSPIREHub "is a one-stop, web-based volunteer management system that ..." "Is" - that's the operative word. This notice says that this NSPIREHub thing exists and that it does something. But I cannot find any mention of it - anywhere. Is this some sort of secret internal NASA thing? If so then why does this data collection notice seek public input if the public cannot even see the thing to begin with? How can they be expected to provide any input on something that they cannot see? Who owns this NSPIREHub thing? PAO? NASA STEM Engagement? Is this a NASA HQ effort or does some field center run this in stealth mode somewhere?

I have to hand it to NASA though. They have apparently created a totally stealthy public outreach system. Only NASA would think to do invisible outreach, I guess.

Keith's update: I sent a request to the person listed on the Federal Register notice and NASA HQ PAO. It was forwarded to someone at KSC who replied:

"I just want to make sure what type of information you are looking for so I send you the right stuff. The actual website that holds the working information is not available to the public for use. It is only intended for use by NASA/Contractor's with access behind the firewall. Can you please let me know what type of information you are interested in?"

So I replied:

"The reason I ask is that the Federal Register notice clearly asks for public input: "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections." How can the general public provide input for a site that it cannot see? I am a member of the general public so can I see what I need to see in order to provide public feedback? Otherwise why was this notice seeking general public input issued?"

BUT - and this is important - the person at KSC who is responsible is going to pull some things together for me. I am genuinely interested in how NASA does education and outreach - which is what drew my attention to this Federal Register posting in the first place. So, let's see what NASA provides me.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 3, 2021 1:00 PM.

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