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ISS News

NASA Does Not Care If The NIH Director Is Speaking At ISSRDC

By Keith Cowing
August 3, 2021

Keith’s update: Just look for tweets with #ISSRDC on them. Right now the most prolific tweeter of ISRDC related coverage has been @NASAWatch – not NASA or CASIS. As a space person interested in what the Space Station has to offer I am very disappointed in NASA, HEOMD, and CASIS in the lack of online coverage of this important event.
NASA PAO only waited until the event was already underway to make mention of it. And now they are ignoring it once again. As one of the thousands of people who helped design and build the ISS this makes me angry that this amazing resource is ignored the way that NASA ignores it.
NIH Director Francis Collins was an enthusiastic, engaged, and topically knowledgeable participant as he interviewed Astronaut Kate Rubins today. The NIH director interviewing an astronaut. Wow. That has never happened before. Speaking from personal experience NASA has tried for years to get quality time and peer-to-peer visibility with NIH. They got it. So what do they do while the NIH Director appeared at the event to sing the praises of the ISS? NASA PAO showed boring footage of a rocket sitting on a launch pad waiting to go nowhere instead.

Keith’s note: It’s rather strange that NASA HEOMD and SMD don’t bother to mention that the NIH Director is speaking at ISSRDC.This sort of inter-agency cooperation is what the Biden Administration’s “whole of government” approach is all about. Having Francis Collins speak is quite a distinction – one that NASA’s Space Station program has sought for a long time. Now that it has happened NASA Headquarters ignores it by not even bothering to put it on NASA TV. Go figure.
NASA Can’t Figure Out How To Promote Good News About Space, 22 July post
“With all of these excellent guest speakers, you’d think that HEOMD AA Kathy Lueders and the HEOMD team would be wanting to tell everyone about this. Guess again. There is nothing mentioned on the NASA Space Station or Humans in Space web pages. There is no mention on the NASA Science Mission Directorate home page or the SMD NASA Biological & Physical Sciences page. Nothing is listed on the NASA TV schedule for this event. No NASA media advisories or press releases have been put out.”

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