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

This weekend, 34 cities across the globe will play host to [Random Hacks of Kindness #4][]. Random Hacks of Kindness is a community of innovation that brings together subject matter experts with volunteer technologists to develop open technology solutions to the global challenges. NASA has a long history with RHoK - we were one of the founding core team members and have been involved ever since!

Many of the projects worked on at RHoK rely on critical data about earth in order to accomplish their goals (such as rainfall analysis, temperature readings, imagery, etc). NASA’s earth science missions collect terabytes upon terabytes per day of information about our planet, and we’ve made it our goal to help RHoK-ers as much as possible with accessing our data and using it in amazing ways to create apps that save lives. Here are just a few ways we’re working with RHoK this year to make our data accessible:

We launched earlier this year to act as “yellow pages” of NASA datasets. Since NASA’s data is so distributed across the internet, it’s traditionally been incredibly difficult to find the data you needed unless you knew what you were looking for. aims to make the process of discovering data easier by offering a simple, tagged index of NASA data resources. If you’re really ambitious, you can even use our API to query the site!

2) Meet us in person!
All five members of NASA’s Open Government Team will be on call and present at different RHoK locations around the country. We’ll work to make ourselves known at the events - feel free to come up to ask questions, get ideas, or just chat about space! If we can’t answer something, we’ll work to find a NASA expert who can.

3) Tag up with us online
We’ll all also be available online to help out those RHoK locations without a NASA-rep, or to help facilitate cross-RHoK event collaborations. See below for a list of where we’ll be and how to contact us.

4) Join “The Collaboration Project”
The goal of this collaboration is to bring together different perspectives to create one, simple, user-friendly mechanism to communicate and collaborate to tackle the challenges facing our world. By doing that we can all learn from each others’ successes and mistakes. NASA Astronaut Ron Garan is spearheading this effort, and will be presenting on it at RHoK Austin Saturday morning. We’ll update this post with a recording as soon as his talk takes place!

NASA Representatives at RHoK Locations

RHoK Philadelphia
Sean Herron, NASA Open Government Initiative
Twitter: @seanherron

RHoK Milwaukee
Nick Skytland, NASA Open Government Initiative
Twitter: @skytland

RHoK Austin
Ali Llewellyn, NASA Open Government Initiative
Twitter: @adllewellyn

RHoK San Francisco
William Eshagh, NASA Open Government Initiative
Twitter: @eshagh

RHoK Portland
Chris Gerty, NASA Open Government Initiative
Twitter: @gerty