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“Around here … we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

In 2007, a small group of people began an intentional, collaborative experiment in open, transparent, and direct communication about your space program. Our goal was to enable your direct participation in exploring and contributing to NASA’s mission.

It took the vision and passion of a diverse group to make this a reality. Today, five years later, these same people have started successful companies, become leaders in both industry and government, and continue to advocate for the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration in new ways.

Through their commitment we engaged citizens, pressed forward open source policy, built an effective open data platform, accelerated technology development, and strengthened open communities across NASA. We established NASA’s social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, among other platforms, opened code and data repositories, introduced mass collaboration to the Federal government, established the Open Innovation Program at NASA Headquarters, and invited thousands of people to directly participate in NASA’s mission through events such as Random Hacks of Kindness, the International Space Apps Challenge, and the National Day of Civic Hacking. Most importantly, their efforts changed the conversation at NASA about how to engage others and how to pioneer the future.

There are many people who supported the vision of an open NASA and contributed to making it a reality, too many to list here. We are forever grateful for the path they cleared, the vision they cast, and the permission they gave us.

The first chapter of this experiment concluded in 2013, but we hope that the principles of Open Government we held dear continue to live on at NASA and within the federal government for many more years to come.

About Nick

Johnson Space Center

nicholas.g.skytland@nasa.gov