NASA – The Frontier Is Everywhere (Video)

This inspiring fan video, featuring Carl Sagan’s famous “Pale Blue Dot” narration, is made by Reid Gower and he has this to say about NASA’s current public image:

I got frustrated with NASA and made this video. NASA is the most fascinating, adventurous, epic institution ever devised by human beings, and their media sucks. Seriously. None of their brilliant scientists appear to know how to connect with the social media crowd, which is now more important than ever. In fact, NASA is an institution whose funding directly depends on how the public views them.

In all of their brilliance, NASA seems to have forgotten to share their hopes and dreams in a way the public can relate to, leaving one of humanity’s grandest projects with terrible PR and massive funding cuts. I have a lot of ideas for a NASA marketing campaign, but I doubt they’d pay me even minimum wage to work for them. I literally have an MSWord document entitled NASAideas.doc full of ideas waiting to share. I thought maybe, just maybe someone might be able to work their magic for me on that. But the primary point of this post is to vent my frustration with NASA. Sure, they’ve fallen victim to budget cuts but I honestly think cutting media will seal NASA’s own fate. Unless they can find a way to relate to the general public, support for their projects will always be minimal, and their funding will follow suit. A social media department would easily pay for itself in government grants because it could rekindle the public interest in the space program.

Here’s hoping NASA takes a cue from this!

Do We Need a Space Code of Conduct?

According to Space Politics, the US government is considering whether or not to adopt a Space Code of Conduct.

From the article:

The US government will make a decision soon on whether to support a proposed “Code of Conduct” for space operations, a State Department official said Wednesday. Speaking at a “Next Steps in U.S. Space Diplomacy” forum at the Stimson Center in Washington, Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defense Policy, said the administration was considering the “Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities” proposed by the EU two years ago. The code, designed to promote peaceful, safe uses of space, includes provisions requiring nations to establish procedures to avoid collisions and the production of space debris, including refraining from “any intentional action which will or might bring about, directly or indirectly, the damage or destruction of outer space objects.

“We have been working very, very collaboratively with the EU the past two years” on the code of conduct, Rose said. The new national space policy, which endorses the use of “transparency and confidence-building measures to encourage responsible actions in, and the peaceful use of, space”, allows the administration to now consider formally supporting the EU code. Rose said the State Department, and soon an interagency group, will examine whether the US can support the code. “We hope to make a decision very much in the near future.” Rose said later, in response to a question, that while the US hasn’t made a decision on whether to support that document, such a code “is very consistent with the key policies outlined in the president’s new space policy.”

The concept of a code of conduct, if not the EU’s proposed code, was also endorsed at the event by Ambassador Greg Schulte, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. “We need to start work on ‘rules of the road’” for space operations, he said, with such rules including not just debris mitigation and collision avoidance but also potentially radiofrequency interference and “discouraging destabilizing behavior in a crisis.” He added this his office is supporting Rose’s group at the State Department in its review of the proposed EU code.


What do you think? Do we need a Space Code of Conduct?

China Plans Moon Landing in 2025

While we stand around with our thumbs up our asses about whether or not to go to the Moon or Mars, the Chinese are flowing ahead with a manned Lunar Program.

According to the Guardian:

Country also plans space station within a decade and Mars and Venus probes to be launched in next five years

China could put an astronaut on the moon in 2025 and launch probes to explore Mars and Venus within five years, according to the boss of a Chinese space programme.

Ye Peijian said China could make its first manned moon landing in 15 years, send a probe to Mars by 2013 and to Venus by 2015.

“China has the full capacity to accomplish Mars exploration by 2013,” he added.

The remarks, by the commander in chief of the country’s Chang’e lunar exploration project, were reported by the English language Global Times today and underscore the ambition of China’s plans.


I wish them luck and I’ll watch with envy!