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Nasa's Sean Herron and William Eshagh on Code.nasa.gov

By Fierce Government IT

January 24, 2012

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In an interview, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) William Eshagh and Sean Herron discuss the open.nasa initiative, a response to President Barack Obama's Open Government Directive, which challenges federal agencies to be more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.

Herron says that part of NASA's initiative involves trying to enhance the ability of people throughout the agency to both share what they are doing with the public and to make it easier for people to work with NASA on projects. Eshagh says that NASA is inviting people to help them move forward and build applications for use in tomorrow's space system.

NASA recently launched the Space Apps Challenge, a joint venture between several countries to fulfill the idea of open government. The challenge is a worldwide event that aims to create solutions to common problems that space agencies encounter. Herron says the challenge is similar to another NASA-sponsored initiative called Random Hacks of Kindness, which aims to create software solutions for disaster recovery and development issues.

Another initiative is the NASA Tournament Lab, which is powered by the TopCoder platform. The platform enables employees or organizations to post code challenges on the site and request development ideas for a specific project.

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