Culture: August 2017 Archives

Getting NASA to Comply With Simple FOIA Requests Is a Nightmare

"Trying to effectively use the Freedom of Information Act can be hell. Maybe a police department will demand a ridiculous and seemingly arbitrary fee to collect records, or perhaps an agency simply won't respond to requests. Judging by Motherboard's own requests as well as those from Freedom of Information organizations, one government body in particular stands out for turning FOIA requests into a nightmare: NASA. Trying to effectively use the Freedom of Information Act can be hell. Maybe a police department will demand a ridiculous and seemingly arbitrary fee to collect records, or perhaps an agency simply won't respond to requests. Judging by Motherboard's own requests as well as those from Freedom of Information organizations, one government body in particular stands out for turning FOIA requests into a nightmare: NASA."

- NASA FOIA Follies Continue, earlier post
- Why Does it Take 2 Years For GSFC To Respond to a FOIA Request?, earlier post
- Never Ask NASA a Simple Question, earlier post
- NASA Refuses To Accept Its Own News Media Accreditation (Update), earlier post
- In Search Of A CASIS Report Card, earlier post

Yes, it really has taken NASA 11 years to develop a parachute, Ars Technica

"After the Jacobs tour, I put this question to [NASA Acting Chief Technologist Douglas] Terrier. He did not flinch. "I think it's a very fair question," he said. "I think it's a very fair debate to ask if we as a nation are serious about this, and making it a priority. What we've enjoyed is a very constant level of support, but it's certainly not the Apollo or Manhattan-type project to crank this thing out in seven years." That is not to say that NASA, or its large contractor base, is less able than it was in the 1960s. Far from it, Terrier said. "I think it's important to realize that the team and the technology and manufacturing base is very capable of doing that, the moment someone flicks that switch. The speed at which we're moving is not limited by the capability of NASA or the contractors; it is limited by the resources and, frankly, the political emphasis."

Keith's update: Of course no one at NASA will entertain the counter argument that NASA has been dragging its feet while the real world passes it by. Just sayin'


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