NASA 2.0

Yuri's Night 2007

If you haven’t been wondering what’s up with NASA lately, you’re probably not alone. Though once a bastion for the advancement of humankind, in recent years the space agency has seemingly vanished into a well of bureaucracy and lack of coherent, public-supported vision.

Now, thanks to a number of young, forward-thinking upstarts within the organization, that might all start to change, starting tomorrow night at NASA’s Ames Research Facility in Mountain View, California with the kick off of the World Space Party (aka Yuri’s Night).

With 4,000 expected attendees, this is probably one of the first if not largest raves ever held on government property (you can only imagine the red tape that they had to go through to get this approved!). The space is perfectly suited for this kind of thing — and represents the new thinking and outward focus surging within the organization.

On top of that, there is growing interest in open source (notable given the restrictiveness of the NASA Open Source Agreement), in Second Life, and in coworking, as witnessed by NASA’s tenant status at Citizen Space and in their CoLab project.

I’m certainly excited to see these changes coming to NASA — and if it’s any indicator of what changes might be wrought in the government with the addition of a little 2.0 fever and open source, there’s hope for us yet.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: (YC W18), Uber, Google.

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