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Education

NASA/YouTube/Lenovo/Space Adventures' SpaceLab is Live

By Keith Cowing
October 10, 2011
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YouTube SpaceLab Lifts Off With Lenovo Aboard
Keith’s note: NASA Signed a Space Act Agreement with Space Adventures – with the word “YouTube” in the title. Yet no one from YouTube (or its parent company Google) ever signed the SAA. Now, when you go the YouTube SpaceLab page you see NASA’s logo along with YouTube’s logo and Lenovo’s logo – yet neither company is mentioned in the body of the SAA. If you click on the “Technology in Orbit link” you will see Lenovo’s own page where it talks about its products in space – again with NASA’s logo prominently displayed.
But wait, Lenovo has no agreement with NASA – it has one with YouTube – but YouTube has no agreement with NASA either (despite being mentioned in the SAA’s title) – just with Space Adventures – unless you count the NASA/Google Space Act Agreement signed several years ago. But again, Google did not sign this SAA either. Neither Lenovo or Youtube’s relationship with Space Adventures is mentioned. Given that the vast majority of the project itself focuses on YouTube and Lenovo, this is rather odd.
As I said before, this is trully an interesting way to get novel ideas onboard the ISS – and possibly to spark careers. Moreover, it is a way to show that the ISS has utility beyond the experiments proposed by a small cadre of insiders. I wish the organizers total success. But NASA sure needs to get its act together with regard to the processes they implement for these new relationships. Right now the legal instrument (SAA) that enables this activity has flaws, inconsistencies, and large omissions.
NASA, Google, and Lenovo Team Up for ISS Educational Project, earlier post

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