Sunday, March 02, 2008

OpenNASA

I just found out that there's a new little thing going on in NASA called OpenNASA. It's currently a group of young employees hoping to change the way NASA markets itself to the new generation (called Generation Y). Right now, NASA is mainly run by those in the baby boomer generation who are now starting to retire and there aren't many people to take their place. The baby boomer generation has really been motivated with the Apollo missions, Star Trek and a whole lot more which made NASA look like the coolest thing ever! Now however, we don't really have something that's amazing and innovative. Most of us don't care about the ISS or the shuttle, and think that NASA is just some sort of leech off of the government budget. This is where the OpenNASA folks come in.

They look at what we've grown up on. This generation is MUCH more community oriented, with the advent of YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, yadda yadda yadda just to name a few. And they aim to make NASA more transparent, open, and community-friendly. Now, as I said, right now they're just a couple of NASA employees with a vision, but it turns out that many others at NASA support what they do and this program might become really interesting. As an astronomy-enthusiast and open-source-fanatic, this is exactly what I can hope for!

2 comments:

Jim said...

Generation Y?

That's us!

Eamon said...

From a branding point of view, I think of Nasa (and I think a lot of others do as well) as (besides, obviously, landing on moon and rocket's blasting off) huge clunking computers (that in today's world could do no more calculation than a modern calcularot), men with big ties and thick-rimmed glasses, women with beehive hairdos .. well you get the picture.

Unfair, of course. Nasa do loads of really important, technical stuff. But I don't think the image that many people have of Nasa doesn't do real justice to the interesting work they actually do.