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NASA’s Open Government Plan Features the International Space Apps Challenge

Summary: 
This week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released version 2.0 of our Open Government Plan. We used this milestone to sharpen our focus on initiatives such as creating a new web architecture, employing wider use of Open Source technologies, and increasing opportunities for engaging citizens in NASA’s mission.

This week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released version 2.0 of our Open Government Plan.  We used this milestone to sharpen our focus on initiatives such as creating a new web architecture, employing wider use of Open Source technologies, and increasing opportunities for engaging citizens in NASA’s mission.  We also developed an online version of our plan that features a directory of more than 100 participatory, collaborative and transparency activities. 

Our original plan contained a whopping 147 goals, with responsibility for implementation across twenty-two organizations. Each goal sought to integrate open government into every program and project at NASA.  In the past two years, we have focused on implementation, embedding participation, collaboration, and transparency into all that we do.  Among other accomplishments, NASA has released the open data platform data.nasa.gov; spearheaded the Centennial Challenges, which develop innovative solutions to technical challenges through competition and cooperation; and used technology to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems through the Random Hacks of Kindness partnership.  Check out this infographic, which provides the status of all the goals associated with version 1.0 of our plan. 

One exciting new initiative in the revised plan is the International Space Apps Challenge.  The Challenge will take place on April 21-22, in more than 25 cities and on all seven continents.  It is a key feature of the new plan and fulfills a commitment included the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan.  The Apps Challenge brings collaboration and participation to a new level—quite literally, since even the Space Station is taking part! 

The two-day event will be a “codeathon”-style event, bringing techy-savvy citizens, scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, and students together to help solve challenges relevant to both space exploration and social needs.  To find out more information on the Apps Challenge, read NASA’s revised Open Government Plan at open.nasa.gov/plan, and visit http://spaceappschallenge.org, where you can find a number of diverse challenges that your help is needed to solve!

Deborah Diaz is Deputy Chief Information Officer at NASA