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.

Nick Skytland

Calling on students and young professionals with experience in social media and with concrete ideas of how social media tools can improve space operations, space exploration, space science, and Earth observations from space — your ideas could shape the future of the global space program! As such, it is time to socialize your experience and ideas with space leaders in government, industry and academia at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy, 1-5 October 2012!

This is an exciting opportunity for students and young professionals to participate in a plenary at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy next October! The Next Generations Plenary Event will focus on the Uses of Social Media for the Advancement of Earth and Space Science, Technology and Operations. This is the third year in which the IAC will have a plenary with students and young professionals as panelists.

We are proposing to organize a plenary event to hear concrete ideas from 21-35 year olds on how social media and citizen science can be used presently and in the future to enhance space missions and technology. If approved, this event would take place the week of 1-5 October 2012 in Naples, Italy, at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). Plenary event participants will engage in a panel discussion and interact with the audience while sharing their ideas on the myriad of benefits that social networking tools offer space endeavors. The plenary will be moderated in a talk show fashion interweaving clips from the panelists’ audition videos with questions and comments from the moderator, other panelists, and the audience. The video clips will be used to enhance the audience’s understanding of the ideas of the plenary participants. This is an exciting opportunity that you do not want to miss!

If you are interested, the deadline is approaching fast, so here is what you have to do:

ROUND ONE: 15 Seconds of Fame!

By 21 December 2011, create a 15 second video telling us why you should be chosen to address the IAC and post it on [][]. 
We will only watch/listen for 15 seconds, so be sure to watch the time of your video! Then complete the application at

ROUND TWO: Three Minutes!

The IAF will select the Round Two subset of candidates from the above and notify all entrants by 9 January 2012. Specific details of Round Two requirements will be sent to the candidates in the notification. Selected candidates will be asked to create and post a three minute video on YouTube by 31 January 2012.


The IAF will select the finalists from these entries based on their creativity, efficacy of messages and relevance to the plenary topics. We will be looking for concrete ideas on how social media and citizen science can advance space operations, space exploration, space science, and Earth observations from space. All entrants will be notified of IAF’s decision on their applications by 15 February 2012.
The IAF will make the final selection of Plenaries for the IAC in Naples the week of 12 March 2012 and will notify the finalists of its decision by 31 March 2012.

Who Will Sponsor Me to Travel to Naples?

Plenary participants will be responsible for finding a sponsor or sponsors for their travel to and accommodations at the IAC. In addition to the obvious sources of sponsorship – your employer or school, and industry contacts - we want to share some great programs with you that occur in conjunction with the 2012 Naples IAC for students and young professionals. The following are all distinct programs related to the IAC but are not directly related to this plenary opportunity.

  • IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme
  • Candidates are encouraged to contact the Space Generation Advisory Committee concerning their plans for their event prior to the IAC in Naples and associated sponsorship opportunities.
  • Students in Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States are encouraged to contact CSA, ESA, JAXA and NASA respectively to apply to the space agencies’ student programs at the IAC in Naples.

Posted on behalf of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Young Professional Committee. For more information, please see the IAF website or contact Kat Coderre ( or Philip Harris (