Space Available: NASA Embraces Open Government Initiative

WASHINGTON -- Whether using social networks to allow students to
interact directly with astronauts, or creating a cloud computing
platform to give unprecedented access to scientific data, NASA's
embrace of Open Government has made it a leader among federal

In December 2009, the White House issued the Open Government Directive
calling on executive branch agencies to become more open and
accountable. The directive is centered on the principles of
transparency, collaboration, and participation. NASA released the
first version of the agency's Open Government Plan on Wednesday:


Through information technology systems and NASA's award-winning Web
site, NASA.GOV, America's space program is expanding transparency,
participation and collaboration while providing a new level of
openness and accountability.

NASA is focusing on embedding Open Government Initiative principles
into three specific aspects of operations -- policy, technology and

Through a new policy initiative, NASA is working to make open source
software development more collaborative to benefit the agency and
public. NASA technology has created "Nebula," the U.S. government's
only cloud computing platform, which offers an easier way for NASA
scientists and researchers to share large, complex data sets with
external partners and the public. The creation of a new NASA
Participatory Exploration Office will infuse more public
participation into NASA's mission as part of a culture change to
directly engage people in exploration.

Through participation in NASA's Open Government Initiative and the use
of the Citizen Engagement Tool on the agency's Web site, NASA has
received hundreds of ideas for improving openness and transparency,
more suggestions than any other government agency.

NASA continues to provide the public live access to its missions
through NASA TV and streaming video feeds over the Web. NASA
education outreach programs include projects where students interact
with astronauts and take controls of space instruments remotely.
NASA's highly successful Centennial Challenges prize program has
engaged inventors from around the country to successfully build
prototypes of technology and innovation for use in space.

To learn more about the White House Open Government Initiative, visit:


To learn more about Open Government at NASA, visit:


Source: NASA

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