IT/Web: August 2017 Archives

NASA's Next Mars Mission to Investigate Interior of Red Planet, Lockheed Martin

"More information about InSight is online at:
https://www.nasa.gov/insight
https://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/"

Keith's note: Here we go again. NASA has deliberately created - and pays to maintain - two official mission websites - this time, for Mars InSight. NASA is paying twice for this. I'd ve willing to bet that a FOIA request would show that the duplication costs in terms of website contractor personnel would amount to several hundred thousand dollars over the course of the mission. This is not new wastefulness on NASA's part: the Mars 2020 Rover already has three official BASA mission websites: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/, https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mars-2020/, and https://www.nasa.gov/mars2020. Every few years I ask NASA SMD about this. Someone says that they'll look into it. Tick tock - nothing changes. The real answer is stove piping: NASA cannot really tell its field centers (or JPL) what to do and they go off and do their own thing regardless of whether someone else is already dong it. The field centers and JPL want people to think of them when it comes to NASA - instead of NASA.gov. But NASA HQ wants a unified way for people to find mission information so they set up a duplicate set of mission websites. Try as they may, these dueling sites are never totally in synch - and one is almost always out of sate with respect to the other. Let's #MakeNASAConfusingAgain

NASA's Inability To Speak With One Voice Online, earlier post (2011)

"Probably the most blatant example whereby NASA simply cannot make its mind up as to where an official mission website is has to do with Hubble - here are the official websites: http://hubble.nasa.gov/, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html, http://hubblesite.org/, http://heritage.stsci.edu/, http://www.nasa.gov/hubble, and http://www.spacetelescope.org/. And NASA Hubble press releases typically offer 3 links - on three different official Hubble websites - for the same image."

- Why Does NASA Maintain Three (Four) Different MSL Websites?, earlier post (2013)
- Why does NASA need multiple websites for the same mission?, earlier post
- NASA's Tangled Human Spaceflight Web Presence, earlier post
- NASA's Sprawling Web Presence, earlier post

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


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