Editor's note: Looks like NASA is going to get a special award at the Jules Verne Festival: "NASA, the 50th Anniversary with spectacular presentation of the Jules Verne Award for Human and Historical Achievement!"
News: November 2007 Archives
NASCAR enters the Space Age, Orlando Sentinel
"If the agency's promotional plan pays off, millions of NASCAR fans will have their eyes glued to the skies next month when space shuttle Atlantis blasts off into orbit -- carrying three Daytona 500 race flags in its cargo bay. The green starter flags are being launched into space to celebrate the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in February, as well as NASA's own upcoming 50th anniversary."
"As required by the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, these are our views of the most serious management and performance challenges facing NASA. Over the past year, NASA has been working to address these challenges and improve Agency programs and operations through various initiatives and by implementing recommendations made by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and other evaluative bodies, such as the Government Accountability Office (GAO). An overarching challenge concerns how NASA integrates diverse programmatic and institutional functions across geographically dispersed operations. Each of the five challenges listed below, and summarized in the enclosure, is colored by this overarching challenge."
"In the Report of Independent Auditors (Enclosure 1), E&Y disclaimed an opinion on NASA's financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2007 and 2006. The disclaimer resulted from NASA's inability to provide E&Y auditable financial statements and sufficient evidence to support the financial statements throughout the fiscal year and at year-end."
"How many of us could take a lesson from these folks at MAF and apply it to our own work? Whether we do research, generate spreadsheets, solve equations, interpret the law, write code, do accounting, lay out wiring harnesses, calculate orbits, design structural elements, or whatever it is that we do, how many of us show the dedication to our work, without fanfare or expectation, that is demonstrated by this workforce at Michoud, technicians who spray and shape the foam on our shuttle external tanks? Some of these folks are still living in FEMA trailers, and many cannot rebuild their old homes in an area still devastated two years after Katrina. They are making these personal sacrifices in the midst of lives that are still in turmoil. Yet they keep doing what they do so well. It is incomprehensible and wonderful at the same time."
Reader note: Yes ... nice Thanksgiving note by Mike G. relative to the MAF folks working so hard to keep the ET work going. I read it and wasn't until far down that I see "This is our workforce -- in this case our contractor workforce -- at its very best." Why is it that NASA has such trouble complementing a contractor by name when they do something well? When they screw up that doesn't seem to be a problem.
"Federal prosecutors are accusing Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) of using his position as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to further an additional bribery scheme that was not previously disclosed. Prosecutors allege Jefferson wrote to a NASA administrator on Congressional Black Caucus Foundation letterhead to ask that it consider doing business with a U.S. rocket technology company."
Feds say case against Jefferson lists 2 more bribery schemes, Times Picayune
"Without naming the companies or individuals involved in the two additional alleged schemes, the Justice Department said that Jefferson, after agreeing to write a letter to NASA on behalf of a "Company H," asked that a relative be hired as a consultant and that the relative receive a commission for certain sales and transactions in West Africa and Central Africa. The company was looking to set up satellite communications businesses in Africa, the Justice Department said."
Editor's note: One of the pioneers of the space medicine, Academician Oleg Georgovitch Gazenko, passed away on 17 November 2007 after a serious illness.
"Another example of being stuck on tactics can be found in the occasionally vitriolic criticism of the media and messages put forth by NASA's Office of Strategic Communications and by other space advocacy organizations. While thoughtful, constructive criticism can be helpful, the critique that has appeared in print, at conferences, and on blogs or elsewhere online generally reflects an overemphasis on tactics both when attacking various approaches and prescribing new ones. The net effect has been singularly unhelpful, acting to further mire the debate about communications, relevance, and value."
Editor's note: While this article raises some interesting points, Mary Lynne Dittmar seems to be rather uninformed as to what her own research purports to show. She also seems to have an incomplete understanding as to how the world of marketing and message conveyance i.e. the tactics of communicating a message to an audience - actually works in the 21st Century. In the end, it does not matter how well-crafted and focused your messages are if no one hears them.
message + no tactics = no message
"NASA/NSSC has a requirement for a training course entitled "The Executive and the Media". The objective of the training is to improve the ability of senior executives at the Kennedy Space Center to communicate critical messages via electronic and print media. The course shall include on camera training, simulated media interview sessions, role play or scenarios, coaching and feedback. The vendor shall be responsible for providing all training materials to include all required camera equipment, video taping devices, video tapes and cabling. The vendor shall conduct two, 2-day sessions for 12 students each. Training shall be held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on March 18-19 and March 20-21, 2008."
Editor's note: Too bad they don't do this at NASA HQ - starting with the 9th floor... Maybe Mike Griffin would wipe that grumpy frown off his face more often.
Editor's note: The following is a sneak preview of the OnOrbit.com video channel. We are planning to debut OnOrbit.com in the next week or so for alpha testing. Stay tuned.