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More Broken Things on CIO's New DATA.NASA.GOV Website

By Keith Cowing
May 10, 2021
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More Broken Things on CIO's New DATA.NASA.GOV Website

Keith’s note: Earlier today I posted NASA CIO’s Open Data Thing Is Still Screwed Up. I went back to to the CIO’s page to see if their data collection is accessible to the public. I went to the “Technical Report Server” pull down menu and clicked on “Public Search” which sent me to NTRS – NASA Technical Reports Server. I searched for “astrobiology” and the top search result is Data Sharing in Astrobiology: The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED).
I then went back to the main page and used the “NASA Science Archives” pull down menu and clicked on “List of other NASA Science & Mission Data Archives” which sent me to to Data from NASA’s Missions, Research, and Activities which was last updated 15 February 2017 (or 3 March 2020). There is no listing for the Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED). But I used Google and found that it is located here and was last updated 1 February 2021. According to the Internet Archive it existed as long ago as 25 November 2020 – before this CIO website update. The main contact for this page is someone in NASA PAO – not CIO – and the page just lists his name with no email link to report issues with this page.
If you go back to page and scroll down you will see “Other NASA Data Sites and Science Archives” which also includes a link to List of other NASA Science & Mission Data Archives (mentioned above.) This section also has a highlighted piece of text that blinks when you scroll over it (but does not link to anything) which says “submit an issue if you know of another NASA data site that should be included”. I clicked on it again hoping to be able to report this omission but this is not a link – just a thing that changes color when you scroll over it. How useless.
Didn’t anyone at NASA OIG do some link checks and simple sanity checks via Google before putting this site online? It took me longer to write this up than to find this error – and I was not even looking for an error. What other broken thinks lurk within this new data website from the crack NASA CIO web team?
NASA CIO’s Open Data Thing Is Still Screwed Up, earlier post
NASA Ignores Science Websites – Loves Rocket City Trash Pandas, earlier post
But wait: there’s more:

If you look at the top of the site whose real address is https: // it says “An official website of the United States government Here’s how you know”. Click on the link and it expands to say “The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.”
OK, since you are trying to reassure people, this site’s address ends with .io not .gov or .mil. So what does that mean? Answer: “The Internet country code top-level domain .io is assigned to the British Indian Ocean Territory. The domain is administered by the Internet Computer Bureau, a domain name registry company which is a subsidiary of Afilias and is based in the United Kingdom” according to Google.
So, are taxpayers supposed to be reassured that this is an official U.S government website – and that they can upload data – when you openly tell them that it it uses an address run by a company in the UK licensed from the British Indian Ocean Territory “a British overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia.”? Doesn’t the NASA CIO have a proof reader they can run this stuff by?

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.