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Wasting Time (and Money) at NASA PAO

By Keith Cowing
May 18, 2007

Editor’s note: Once again, it seems that NASA HQ and JSC PAO just cannot agree on whose version of a routine ISS status report gets released. Solution: they release both. Why the fuss? Well, JPL PAO complains that it cannot afford to give their employees cell phones with email capability (most kids walking home from Junior High have that) and other PAO organizations complain about looming budget cuts to other vital functions. Yet instead of trying to make their organization more efficient, PAO manages to find ways to make it less efficient. The following two versions of the 18 May 2007 ISS status report were issued within minutes of each other. The first one went out from JSC at 4:09:21 PM EDT. The NASA HQ version went out at 4:56:10 PM EDT.

You can see both versions here. Slight editorial differences are highlighted. Yes the differences are subtle – but someone took time to re-read a status report that had already been cleared for release by NASA – and indeed, had been released. Why go over it again? If there was some glaring grammatical or technical error that would be one thing. But the original version – and the edited version – were both released! The differences: word order changes and two additional words in the HQ version – but only in the first paragraph. How curious that only the first paragraph needed these changes – and not anything else. What a waste of time.

I have two male cats and they have a tendency, on occasion, to mark their territory. That seems to be what is going on here. If it happens here, in such a petty fashion, where else is it happening? What a waste of time – and money.

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