NASA: Open Gov Plan 2016 Outline

Sep 29, 2016

Here is the outline for our 2016 Open Government Plan. Let us know what you think. We’ve also posted this on GitHub/NASA for your comments:

NASA and Open Government

NASA is an open government agency based on the founding legislation in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, which calls for participation and sharing in the conduct of how we go about the business of expanding the frontiers of knowledge, advancing understanding of the universe, and serving the American public.

Map of Mars Gravity

From 2010 to date, NASA’s Open Government Initiative has matured, evolved, and adapted to shifting priorities in leadership from the White House, Office of Management and Budget, and NASA executives. The original tenets have not changed; however, the application of open government principles — participation, transparency, and openness — are applied according to priorities of agency leadership.

NASA Organizational Structure

 NASA Organizational Structure

Cross-cutting Objectives:

The first two Open Gov Plans cite the following five cross-cutting objectives, which still apply:

  1. Increase Agency transparency and accountability to external stakeholders,
  2. Enable citizen participation in NASA missions (prizes and challenges, citizen science),
  3. Improve internal NASA collaboration and innovation,
  4. Encourage partnerships that can create economic opportunity, and
  5. Institutionalize Open Gov philosophies and practices at NASA.

What’s New

Since the last Open Gov Plan in 2014, we’ve made significant progress enriching and enhancing the foundations laid by previous Plans. Though some of these activities listed in this section are not new, we’ve added new capabilities and capacities to continue this good work, as we move forward into the next two years. Here is a top-level look at projects we love. And by the participant response we’ve seen so far, you love them too. This is your opportunity to give feedback.

Keeping Track: From Then to Now

We heard from citizens that tracking progress across all the Plans [2010, 2012, 2014 and now 2016] is difficult. To address this, we collected all the activities from previous Plans. When we publish the plan, these two sections will be organized in a matrix format for easy reference, with an update on progress, and whether or not the activity is complete, closed out, or ongoing. At this point, we’ve listed them with the year we introduced them into our Open Gov Plans.

Historical and Ongoing Activities included in previous Open Gov Plans

  • Freedom of Information Act: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Congressional requests: 2010, 2012, 2016
  • Declassification: 2010, 2014, 2016
  • Records Management: 2010, 2014, 2016
  • Procurement: 2010
  • Web Initiatives: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 (Flagship in 2012)
  • NASA TV: 2010
  • Education Activities: 2010
  • Space Communication and Navigation: 2010
  • Centennial Challenges: 2010
  • Space Act agreements: 2010
  • Tech Transfer: 2010
  • Engineering Network and NASA Technical Report Server: 2010
  • NASA and 2010, 2016
  • Financial Transparency: 2010, 2016
  • Access and Utilization of NASA Science Data: 2010, 2016
  • Office of the Chief Information Officer: 2010
  • Open Innovation Projects: 2010, 2016
  • Open Data: 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Open Source Software: 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Technology Accelerators: 2012
  • Prizes and Challenges: 2012
  • Citizen Science: 2012, 2016
  • Educational Infrastructure: 2010
  • Zero Robotics: 2010
  • IT Labs: 2012
  • PhoneSat: 2012
  • Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation: 2012, 2016
  • Scientific and Technical Information: 2012
  • Collaborative Spaces: 2012
  • Open Government Directory: 2012
  • Collaborative Code Repository: 2014, 2016
  • Digital Strategy: 2014
  • Proactive Disclosures: 2014, 2016
  • Public Notice: 2014, 2016
  • Privacy: 2014, 2016
  • Whistleblower Protection: 2014, 2016

Flagship Initiatives: Historical Plan Matrix

  • Open Source Software Development: 2010, 2016
  • NO LONGER ACTIVE – Nebula: 2010
  • Participatory Exploration Office: 2010
  • NASA Web Environment: 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Climate Data Initiative: 2012
  • NASA Information Architecture and Management: 2014
  • Asteroid Grand Challenge: 2014


We believe NASA will continue to lead federal agencies as we experiment with and create innovative frameworks for citizen participation in our journey to explore the universe of knowledge about our existence in the universe. We understand that not every human will touch space…yet, but in the meantime, we will endeavor to provide opportunities for citizens to engage with us in meaningful ways, and continue to provide access to our research, technology, and data so that it can be used to make their lives better.This post was originally published on the openNASA blog.