Policy: August 2011 Archives

Funding hinges on clearer NASA vision, Posey warns, Florida Today

"NASA faces an uphill battle for funding in Congress unless it clarifies vague exploration plans, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey said Tuesday.

Absent a clear mission, human spaceflight, I'm afraid, will be very vulnerable, he said. Out of sight, out of mind."

An enduring value proposition for NASA human spaceflight (part 1)An enduring value proposition for NASA human spaceflight (part 1) - Where are we, and how did we get here?, the Space Review

"In 2007, I published an article in The Space Review titled "Sustaining Exploration: Communications, Relevance, and Value" that described NASA as a value delivery system (VDS). In it I made a case for re-alignment of the agency and its activities by means of a "value discovery process". (The reader is directed to the previous paper for an explanation of value systems as applied to NASA and links to reference material.) The article identified some issues driving resistance to change within the agency and warned of the possibility of "organizational obsolescence" if NASA continued to hold tight to past successes as a raison d'tre for activities in the present and future."

NASA's Invisible Advisory Council

"This week the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) and its various committees are meeting. This body is federally chartered to formally advise NASA - yet the public knows little - if anything about what this committee does. By law the public is supposed to be informed of these meetings, allowed to attend, and offered means whereby they can present their views to the committee. By law, these meetings are announced in the Federal Register. But unless you are a policy wonk, you are not likely to read these notices. That is why I post them on NASA Watch (look to the calendar) and on SpaceRef. Alas, beyond the formal notification process, NASA does not lift a finger to make certain that the public is aware of these activities and the means whereby the public is supposed to be encouraged to participate. NASA's NAC staff and PAO have done a pitiful job informing the public of these meetings."

Keith's 3 Aug note: The NASA Advisory Council is meeting on Thursday and Friday. Charlie Bolden will be there. The meeting will be available to the public on WebEx and via telecon (info). Given NASA's previous shyness/ambivalence with regard to encouraging public appreciation of - and participation with - the NAC, you can expect continued silence from the NAC and PAO.

Imagine the visibility that the NAC - and the topics it wil be discussing - would get if NASA used its Twitter account to reach its 1.3 million followers. Imagine also if NASA used one of its 4 TV channels to webcast the meeting. Alas, NASA PAO is focusing today on sending LEGO dolls to Jupiter.

Keith's 4 Aug update: Interestingly, unlike nasa.gov, the open.nasa.gov folks are paying attention to the interests of the public and are letting their readers know that there is a NAC meeting - and how to participate. Well done!


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