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Space Available: NASA Embraces Open Government Initiative

WASHINGTON, April 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Whether using social networks to allow students to interact directly with astronauts, or creating a cloud computing platform to give unprecedented access to scientific data, NASA's embrace of Open Government has made it a leader among federal agencies.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO)

In December 2009, the White House issued the Open Government Directive calling on executive branch agencies to become more open and accountable. The directive is centered on the principles of transparency, collaboration, and participation. NASA released the first version of the agency's Open Government Plan on Wednesday:

http://www.nasa.gov/open/plan

Through information technology systems and NASA's award-winning Web site, NASA.GOV, America's space program is expanding transparency, participation and collaboration while providing a new level of openness and accountability.

NASA is focusing on embedding Open Government Initiative principles into three specific aspects of operations -- policy, technology and culture.

Through a new policy initiative, NASA is working to make open source software development more collaborative to benefit the agency and public. NASA technology has created "Nebula," the U.S. government's only cloud computing platform, which offers an easier way for NASA scientists and researchers to share large, complex data sets with external partners and the public. The creation of a new NASA Participatory Exploration Office will infuse more public participation into NASA's mission as part of a culture change to directly engage people in exploration.

Through participation in NASA's Open Government Initiative and the use of the Citizen Engagement Tool on the agency's Web site, NASA has received hundreds of ideas for improving openness and transparency, more suggestions than any other government agency.

NASA continues to provide the public live access to its missions through NASA TV and streaming video feeds over the Web. NASA education outreach programs include projects where students interact with astronauts and take controls of space instruments remotely. NASA's highly successful Centennial Challenges prize program has engaged inventors from around the country to successfully build prototypes of technology and innovation for use in space.

To learn more about the White House Open Government Initiative, visit:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/open

To learn more about Open Government at NASA, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/open

SOURCE NASA

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