How would you “Open NASA”?

As you may or may not have heard, the White House has issued an “Open Government” directive to all government agencies which requires them to come up with a plan for how they will become more participatory, collaborative and transparent. To help develop this plan, each agency, including NASA, has been given an “IdeaScale” site where members of the public can make suggestions and vote on the suggestions of others. That’s where you come in!

Do you have an idea for how NASA can be more “open” to the public? Some novel way for space enthusiasts to use spacecraft data? Some way for the public to actively help with NASA’s missions? Some piece of information about NASA that you wish you had access to but could never find? Now is your chance! Head on over to the OpenNASA site and submit your suggestion. Or just take a look at the ideas already there and vote them up or down.

To steal the tagline from NASA Watch: “It’s YOUR space agency. Get involved. Take it back. Make it work – for YOU.”

Explore posts in the same categories: NASA, space policy

6 Comments on “How would you “Open NASA”?”

  1. tori Says:

    good idea, thanks


  2. Hoo boy, this will end well. I foresee the following questions from GOP flaks:

    Open up the studios where the Moon landings were filmed;

    Release the code and data used to ‘hide the decline’ (and the plot to sabotage OCO);

    UFO files;

    Area 51 (OK, not NASA, but their strategy is clearly not predicated on respecting the intelligence of the public);

    I’m sure there’s more (isn’t Obama controlled by lizardoids?), but you get the idea.

    • Ryan Says:

      Yeah, there’s some of that, and to be fair I think there are plenty of liberals with similar crazy ideas.

      But that’s why we need reasonable people to go make good suggestions, or at the very least vote up the good suggestions from others and vote down the crazy stuff.


      • Yeah, you’re right. Probably the best thing NASA can do is transfer their excellent practice to other bits of government, since I can’t think of any good ideas that they don’t, in fact, already do (is there any data they don’t release?).

        But I’m not talking about people with crazy ideas, I’m talking about rational but amoral people who have an incentive to lie.

  3. Darien Says:

    I just want to add that NASA already has one of the most incredibly detailed and interactive websites, with all sorts of great features, up to the minute reports and little videos etc.

  4. z Says:

    Sigh. To contribute to the OpenNASA site, one needs to set up an account. Like we all don’t already have enough passwords to remember.

    NASA could start with the following:
    – a uniform public data release policy (Cassini was forced by NASA to put their pictures online as soon as rec’d, MER PI chose to put such pictures online, HST and ISS don’t put their pictures online immediately (does ISS even archive the pics taken up there?) and of course I’m just talking about pictures. What about Mini-TES spectra or APXS data or ODY GRS raw data, etc.

    – require all NASA-funded research to put their data online as soon as collected (don’t wait for publication or even for data validation)– if they are going to require it for some NASA projects, they should require it for all

    – require all NASA-funded research to be published in Open Access (Free for ALL to Read) journals.

    – publish an annual book that describes what the heck they’re doing up on ISS. ANything?


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