End of the Space Shuttle & the Beginning of Commercial Space: Leadership, Change, and Private-Public Partnerships

Columbia shuttle disaster of 2003, there was almost universal recognition that the space shuttle had to be replaced. In 2004, President George W. Bush directed NASA to build a shuttle successor as part of an overall “vision” to explore deep space. Then-NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe put the possibility of launching cargo and eventually crew to the ISS through private commercial means on the NASA agenda. In 2005, Michael Griffin, O’Keefe’s successor, established a program – Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) – to do just that.

Leading NASA’s Space Technology Research: Insights from Dr. Bobby Braun, NASA Chief Technologist

Cutting edge technology and innovation is more important today than ever before, as NASA develops missions of increasing complexity to understand the Earth, our solar system, and the universe. We spoke with Dr. Bobby Braun, Chief Technologist at NASA, who was a guest on The Business of Government Hour about NASA’s space technology program, its focus on research and development, forging disruptive innovation, and making a difference for the future. I share with you some of his insights from our conversation. 

Journey of Discovery: Interview with Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist

NASA leads the nation on a great journey of discovery, seeking new knowledge and understanding of our Earth, sun, solar system, and the universe— out to its farthest reaches and back to its earliest moments of existence.

To do this, it invests on the order of $3 billion annually in fundamental and applied research and technology development across a broad range of topics, including space and earth sciences, life and physical sciences, human health, aeronautics, and technology.

3D Worlds Come to Government

I saw an intriguing article in Government Computer News, by Alice Lipowicz, on how the departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, the National Defense University, and the Air Force are getting together to create a government-only 3-D “virtual world” where they could conduct training and joint exercises. Paulette Robinson, dean of NDU’s “iCollege,” told GCN “Webinars are boring,” and that the immersive experience of bringing people together on-line can be dramatically improved.

Scorecarding Agency Open Gov Plans

The Obama Administration announced today a scorecard of the quality of the plans submitted earlier this month by 29 major agencies. Using a checklist of 30 criteria, the scorecards show all agencies rating either a “yellow” or a “green” on their scorecards. These plans are being referred to as “version 1.0.”

Open Gov Plans Countdown

Next week, agency Open Government Plans are due to the Office of Management and Budget.

The Open Government Dialogue

With little fanfare, the While House announced that 29 agencies launched their Open Government weblinks on schedule (per an OMB directive), on Saturday, February 6th. Virtually all of them also invited citizens to participate in a dialogue on how they could improve their approaches to transparency, participation, collaboration, and innovation.

The Business of Government Magazine - The NEW Fall/Winter 2009 Edition

 

The Center is pleased to announce the publication of its Fall/Winter 2009 issue of The Business of Government magazine. This issue focuses on a range of public management issues facing us today. Whether it’s the federal government’s response to the recent financial crisis, the H1N1 flu, or its movement towards greater transparency and accountability, we’ve gathered thoughtful perspectives from some of the leading practitioners and academics in the field.

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