Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Inside Baseball Memo War

NASA Watch yesterday had posts and comments about a memo issued by NASA suspending all educational and public outreach activities

From:     NASA Chief Financial Officer and the NASA Chief of Staff 
Subject:   Guidance for Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Activities Under Sequestration

. . .  Effective immediately, all education and public outreach activities should be suspended, pending further review. In terms of scope, this includes all public engagement and outreach events, programs, activities, and products developed and implemented by Headquarters, Mission Directorates, and Centers across the Agency, including all education and public outreach efforts conducted by programs and projects. The scope comprises activities intended to communicate, connect with, and engage a wide and diverse set of audiences to raise awareness and involvement in NASA, its goals, missions and programs, and to develop an appreciation for, exposure to, and involvement in STEM. Audiences include employees, partners, educators, students, and members of the general public. The scope encompasses, but is not limited to:
  • Programs, events, and workshops.
  • Permanent and traveling exhibits, signage, and other materials. 
  • Speeches, presentations, and appearances, with the exception of technical presentations by researchers at scientific and technical symposia. 
  • Video and multimedia products in development (and renewal of existing products). Web and social media sites in development (excludes operational sites).  
  • External and internal publications, with the exception of Scientific and Technical Information as defined by NPD 2200.1B.  
  • Any other activity whose goal is to reach out to external and internal stakeholders and the public concerning NASA, its programs, and activities.
Planet 3.0;s  evaluation is
After years of squirming about what to say in public for fear of irritating people who find science vaguely suspicious, NASA is apparently now hiding under the protective covering of “sequestration” (the financial kind) to stop public outreach altogether.
But then it was decided that some things are more important than saving money
David S. Weaver
Office of Communications

TO: Communications Coordinating Council (CCC)

FROM: Associate Administrator for Communications

SUBJECT: Instructions for Waiver from Guidance and Additional information for Education and Public Outreach Activities Under Sequestration

I am providing additional information and instructions regarding the review of public outreach activities under sequestration as outlined in the memorandum from the NASA Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Staff dated March 22, 2013.

First, I am exempting the following activities from immediate suspension:

* Mission announcement media events and products
* Breaking news activities
* Responses to media inquiries
Which MT thought was unfortunate backsliding from NASA's real mission of burning money to fly bricks. Still, all is not lost, today's memo exempts most of NASA's educational programs
TO: Educational Coordinating Council (ECC)

FROM: Associate Administrator of Education

SUBJECT:  Waiver from Guidance for Educational and Public Outreach Activities Under Sequestration.

Following the memo from the NASA Chief of Staff dated march 22, 2014 I am exempting the following activites from immediate suspension
  • Digital Learning Network activities currently scheuled
  • First Robotis
  • Flight Projects - specifically ARISS, Earth KAM, Education Downlinks, Zero Robotics
  • Great Moonbuggy Race
  • Lunabotics Competition
  • Microgravity University activities currently scheduled
  • NASA Educational Technology Services (NETS)
  • NAS Internships, Fellowships and Scholarships
  • NASA Museum Alliance
  • Science Engineering Mathematics Aerospace Academy (SEMAA)
  • Student Launch Initiative/Undergraduate Student Launch Initiative
  • Summer of Innovation
Waiver of these activites does not provide permission for an emplyee to attend or participated in these activities.  Individual employees must still meet the following criteria. . .
which says nothing about the contractors who are involved in most of these activities.

Oh yes, NASA Public Affairs is being very shy about the last memo.  According to NASAWatch 
NASA PAO has decline to provde a copy of this letter and has said that I need to file a FOIA request in order to get it. I have filed the FOIA request. This usually takes weeks although they could expedite this.
Eli has been awaiting this sort of stuff ever since Disney bought the Star War's franchise.  It's definitely Star War Time.


Albatross said...

What a mess, it looks like they are doing this on the fly.

Talking of "flying". PlanetIQ is proposing to help NASA, for a fee of course.

In other "cheering" news, the Aqua AMSU has just failed. Roy has more.

Anonymous said...


There are some folk now piping up that they suspect that the readings are accurate, and reflecting a real decrease in temperature that disproves human-caused global warming.

I'm now waiting to hear that taking out the satellite was a government conspiracy to hide the decline...

Bernard J.

[I think, therefore I am not a robot.


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the elephants at NASA headquarters (SLS, MPCV, Webb et al.) will continue to stomp down everything at NASA headquarters for at least another three and a half years. The dumbing down of the NASA rank and file civil servants over the last several decades has finally elevated the problem above the noise.

Nonsense has consequences.

Anonymous said...

NASA lost $1.2 billion due to sequestration. Of course, they are flapping around, you would if you household suddenly took a big dent.
Bernard J., if you are referring to Roy's data that wasn't at the positions they thought, once the orbit was corrected, the temperature decline vanished. Elementary space science, not only did they flunk it, but they trumpeted it into a grand discovery.

Anonymous said...

NASA lost $1.2 billion due to sequestration. Of course, they are flapping around, you would if you household suddenly took a big dent.

Oh sure. Even with in excess of 20 bills a year all was not well with Disney oops, I mean NASA Land.

These are decadal scale problems.

David B. Benson said...

"... every contorption was off..”