In 2007, a small group of people began an intentional, collaborative experiment in open, transparent, and direct communication about your space program. Our goal was to enable your direct participation in exploring and contributing to NASA’s mission.

Many of us have since begun new adventures. This site will remain as an archive of the accomplishments of the openNASA experiment.

Sean Herron

Deadline Extended: Applications are due no later than 11:59pm EST on Friday, October 28, 2011

Are you a college student looking to make a difference in your world…and beyond? Do you love the idea of using technology make government more collaborative, participatory, and transparent? Does your childhood dream of someday working for NASA still live on?

If you’ve answered yes to the above questions, and you’ll be spending your 2012 spring semester in either Washington, DC, or Houston, TX, then read on! The NASA Open Government Initiative is looking for innovative minds to join our team for one-semester internships at NASA Headquarters and NASA Johnson Space Center.

What is the NASA Open Government Initiative?

The Open Government Initiative is an innovative strategy for changing how government works. The aim of open government is to take advantage of the know-how and entrepreneurial spirit of those outside government institutions to work together with those inside government to solve problems. Open Government is all about embracing the concept of “open innovation” – the idea that working in a transparent, participatory, and collaborative fashion helps improve performance, inform decision-making, encourage entrepreneurship, and solve problems more effectively.

As a member of NASA’s OpenGov team, you’ll be working on a number of projects throughout the agency related to open government activities. Some examples of projects we’ll have you working on include:

  1. Collaborating with NASA scientists and engineers across the country to help make data from their missions publicly available
  2. Working with graphic designers, web developers, and creative artists to find ways to showcase NASA initiatives to members of the public.
  3. Helping guide NASA’s policy and strategy on Open Source Software development
  4. Working with partners from Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, HP, and the World Bank on Random Hacks Of Kindness
  5. Writing white papers and briefing NASA management on the progress of OpenGov activities in the agency.
  6. Blogging about your experience on

A huge part of this internship will be self-guidance. Much like Google’s 20% time, we’ll want you to take part of your time here to start your own OpenGov project. We’ll work with you to find a project you are interested in and passionate about, then allow you to take the reins and manage it. In the past, OpenGov interns have created Android Apps using NASA data, the OpenGov Progress Dashboard, and worked on projects like Fragile Oasis and NASA Tweetups.

Although we have no requirement for a specific major or program for applicants, this position will be primarily policy-focused. Thus, a background in public policy, political science, business, or a related field will be extremely useful. A love for space exploration and an inquisitive nature are essential, as are self-motivation, strong writing chops and experience in using web technologies. Additionally, knowledge of HTML/CSS and WordPress are desired but not required.

If you’re interested, check out the application form!

Applications are due ~~Sunday, October 9, 2011~~ Friday, October 28, 2011 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. This position is unpaid.