We are very excited to launch open.nasa.gov - a collaborative platform for the open government community to share success stories and projects they are working on. The content on this site is written by NASA employees and contractors. We are excited to highlight the ways that transparency, participation, and collaboration are being embraced by NASA policy, technology, and culture – and the amazing future that becomes possible because of that commitment.
Tell me about the Open Government Plan!
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released its Open Government Plan on April 7th, 2010. 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. For more than 50 years, NASA has developed and nurtured a rich culture of openness, fostering collaboration among scientists and sharing the excitement surrounding scientific discoveries, aeronautics, and space with the public at large. NASA is striving to incorporate open government into every facet of its mission, from developing an open source software cloud computing platform to creating new incentivized challenges for talented and interested members of the public, following the five NASA Open Government principles.
The NASA Open Government plan continues to create a new level of openness and accountability in our policies, technology, and culture. As the plan evolves over time NASA will continue to see success in these areas and work to replicate it throughout the Agency. Over the past year, NASA’s Open Government Plan was highly rated by the Administration and the watchdog group, openthegovernment.org. NASA was also among a few agencies recognized with two “Leading Practices” Awards from the White House, for achievement above and beyond the requirements of the Open Government Directive in the categories of “Participation and Collaboration” and “Flagship Initiatives.” NASA is proud of our achievements and looks forward to continuing to establish a solid foundation for institutional change based on the five NASA Open Government principles:
- Increase Agency transparency and accountability to external stakeholders.
- Enable citizen participation in NASA’s mission.
- Improve internal NASA collaboration and innovation.
- Encourage partnerships and create economic opportunity.
- Institutionalize Open Government philosophies and practices at NASA.
Can you give me an example of OpenGov at work at NASA?
One example of NASA’s commitment to Open Government is in the area of scientific and technical information. In accordance with the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958’s commitment to “provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof,” the NASA Technical Reports Server provides the public access to NASA’s current and historical technical literature and engineering results. Over 500,000 aerospace-related citations, over 200,000 full-text online documents, and over 500,000 images and videos, all created or funded by NASA, are publicly available. A common portal enables search and retrieval through three primary multimedia collections that span NASA’s history. An upgraded public interface was rolled out this year, which includes algorithmic search assistance, search refinement and concept clouds, opening up amazing artifacts of space history and enabling true knowledge discovery.