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Why is NASA's website so lame?

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posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:25 PM
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Tiltle says it all. I've been wondering about this for a long time now and decided to make a thread about it. Here's what happened today that got me thinking about this again: I've read that Robonaut ( a humanoid robot) is going to be delivered to ISS on the next shuttle mission. I think this is super cool and am looking forward to seeing videos and what not of this thing in action. I however didn't remember when the next shuttle was scheduled to launch, so I decided to find out in order to have something to look forward to. I went to the nasa site and here is the page on the next shuttle mission.

www.nasa.gov...

If you click that link you'll see just haow lame the NASA site is. For starters there isn't any mention of robonaut being part of the mission at all. Seems like if one of your main goals is to inspire kids as Obama and prettymuch every other person says is one of NASA's priorities, that something as cool as the first humanoid robot in spacre would be something you would at least mention.

What about all the other cool stuff they are doing? What are some of the interesting things that will be going on during this missioin? What are they doing up there? Here's what the page says...


Discovery will deliver and install the Permanent Multipurpose Module, the Express Logistics Carrier 4 and provide critical spare components to the International Space Station. This will be the 35th shuttle mission to the station.


What? That's it? The first sentence leaves a lot to the imagination and the second is a big fat who care. Think they could explain what the Express Logistics Carriier 4 is? Is it better than 1-3? What is a mulipurpose Module? Sounds like an empty room but who knows.

They give way more info on the crew. Well I'll be honest here... I don't care where Alvin Drew went to high school. I don't care that Nicole P. Stott enjoys painting, woodworking, and gardening. I'm not interested in how many medals Eric A. Boe has on his shelf. WHO CARE? I want to know what they are doing in space not where Steven W. Lindsey's parents live. WTF!?

How is this inspirational? How is this educational? How is this even interesting? WTF NASA. Is it so hard to explain what you are doing and why we should care? Is it just to difficult to post more than ONE vauge sentence about what is going to happen on a mission?

Seriously, is this part of a conspiracy or something? "Give them fancy graphics and lots of buttons to click so they'll be impressed, but don't give them any real information on what we are actually doing." -NASA Jerk Face.







posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:32 PM
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If you go to the link you provided and type in Robonaut on search several other links come up.

[edit on 17-7-2010 by crazydaisy]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:38 PM
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For example:

The first generation Robonaut was designed by the Robot Systems Technology Branch at NASA's Johnson Space Center in a collaborative effort with DARPA. The Robonaut project seeks to develop and demonstrate a robotic system that can function as an EVA astronaut equivalent. Robonaut jumps generations ahead by eliminating the robotic scars (e.g., special robotic grapples and targets) and specialized robotic tools of traditional on-orbit robotics. However, it still keeps the human operator in the control loop through its telepresence control system. Robonaut is designed to be used for "EVA" tasks, i.e., those which were not specifically designed for robots.

Our challenge is to build machines that can help humans work and explore in space. Working side by side with humans, or going where the risks are too great for people, machines like Robonaut will expand our ability for construction and discovery. Central to that effort is a capability we call dexterous manipulation, embodied by an ability to use ones hand to do work, and our challenge has been to build machines with dexterity that exceeds that of a suited astronaut. The resulting robotic system called Robonaut is the product of NASA and DARPA collaboration, supporting the hard work of many JSC Engineers that are determined to meet these goals.

We are using a humanoid shape to meet NASA's increasing requirements for Extravehicular Activity (EVA, or spacewalks). Over the past five decades, space flight hardware has been designed for human servicing. Space walks are planned for most of the assembly missions for the International Space Station, and they are a key contingency for resolving on-orbit failures. Combined with our substantial investment in EVA tools, this accumulation of equipment requiring a humanoid shape and an assumed level of human performance presents a unique opportunity for a humanoid system.

While the depth and breadth of human performance is beyond the current state of the art in robotics, NASA targeted the reduced dexterity and performance of a suited astronaut as Robonaut's design goals, specifically using the work envelope, ranges of motion, strength and endurance capabilities of space walking humans. This website describes the design effort for the entire Robonaut system, including mechanisms, avionics, computational architecture and telepresence control
- and it continues but I would have to do another post.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:40 PM
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The short answer is their technology is antiquated. Obama made this whole drama about America's technology buy NASA is still running some old tech.

They could move completely to open source solutions and enable a community model the allows users to contribute to content administration and monitoring. 10 years ago you could still get away with PERL and CGI on a UNIX box but these days you need to separate all of your application, presentation and DB layers to leverage global distribution.

They also need to move into the social era and allow users to customize their experience.

There is no shortage of government spend these days, so I am happy to help design a scalable, efficient, and easily customizable solution for only half of what the CIA offered that Iranian fellow



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:43 PM
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Have to agree. It's miserable.

PR mixed up with science. Good stuff and garbage. To make matters worse they move stuff around. Find an interesting document you better download it because next month it could be somewhere else and good luck finding it again.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I guess they're too busy doing sciency and spacy things to worry about the appearance of their site.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by crazydaisy
If you go to the link you provided and type in Robonaut on search several other links come up.

[edit on 17-7-2010 by crazydaisy]


Well that's part of my point. You basicallly have to already know the information and then search for it or click a bunch of links. The result is stuff you already knew... otherwise you wouldn't have searched for it in the first place.

How is that going to inspire people and kids (and me) that don't already know about these things?

Why is it so hard to find any good information? Why is it easier to find information on youtube or a site like space.com or a blog than on NASA's own website?


If one of their main goals is to inspire people to be interested in space and science in general then they fail pretty badly.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:57 PM
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I personally don't think it's lame, simply because its content is on the cutting edge of discovery.

Aesthetically, it may appear weak because it's a GOVERNMENT AGENCY, financed by the government. Government agencies are notoriously underfunded, uninspired and unimaginative.

The bulk of their money goes to R&D, not public relations.

— Doc Velocity





[edit on 7/17/2010 by Doc Velocity]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by Doc Velocity
 

Enough bureaucrats in NASA as it is. They don't need an overpaid webmaster in the mix.

Just stop moving stuff.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by Chadwickus
 


I think the appearance is just fine. Great infact. It's the content that is either lacking or hard to find.

Again if one of their main goals is to get people interested (and this is what is always claimed as one of if not the greatest benifits and goals of NASA) then it would only seem logical that there website would be the biggest tool in the shed. So what gives?



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by crazydaisy
While the depth and breadth of human performance is beyond the current state of the art in robotics...

I differ with this... The problem is in duplicating total human body articulation and performance. We have lots and lots of individual robotic components that are really very good at mimicking human performance. There are some remote manipulation arms and hands that would knock you out with their dexterity. Really great stuff.

The problem is consolidating many robotic components mimicking many human functions into one package.

It took Evolution 7 million years to fit humans into our current package — we're trying to duplicate that engineering feat within just a few decades. IMO, we're not doing so badly thus far. Give us another 50 years for fully articulated androids with positronic neural nets. We can do it, there's no question.

— Doc Velocity





[edit on 7/17/2010 by Doc Velocity]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:18 PM
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In the words of the OP: WHO CARE?!



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:28 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by Doc Velocity
 

Enough bureaucrats in NASA as it is. They don't need an overpaid webmaster in the mix.

Just stop moving stuff.



I'm glad to see you agree with me, but come on. It's not going to break NASA's budget to add a few paragraphs explaining what they are doing on a missions main page. LOL.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by fieryjaguarpaw
Seriously, is this part of a conspiracy or something? "Give them fancy graphics and lots of buttons to click so they'll be impressed, but don't give them any real information on what we are actually doing."

As I said, you're talking about government employees, not a Boston Public Relations Agency full of bright and energetic go-getters.

NASA is the nerd-pack. These were the nerdy people you abused and mocked in high school. They still think the Chess Club is the high-end of athletic competition. They think a vacation at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum is "extreme"... LOL They think a company newsletter discussing air-to-fuel ratios is the cutting edge of excitement, okay.

You're not talking about a bunch of Steven Spielbergs and James Camerons.


— Doc Velocity



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by fieryjaguarpaw
 



My answer would be that you have to have a subject word in mind to search something about it. This is where the school and parents come in - they tell the children about the program and give them suggestions on what to look for on the site - they click various links and learn about the subject. If I have never heard of robonauts I would have no idea of the word to search to find it - someone would have to give me a little info first. Yea, I agree the net can be a little like looking for a needle in a hay stack but sometimes the rewards are great.
I agree some sites such as YouTube are easier and others more difficult. If I want to see vids at Youtube on Ufo's for instance I just search UFO's - still you have to search thru them to find those that intrigue you the most.


Remember encyclopedia's - now do you feel a little better, lol.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I disagree, I think a redesign of the NASA website should have been included in obama's stimulus package.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by Doc Velocity

Originally posted by fieryjaguarpaw
NASA is the nerd-pack.


Hey, I wouldn't jump to conclusions too fast lol. I was reading something in a magazine like sports illustrated and there was a fine looking lady studying to become rocket scientist



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by NeutronAvenger
I think a redesign of the NASA website should have been included in obama's stimulus package.

Um, in case you missed it, Obama refused to continue funding NASA back in February, basically wiping any future Moon missions off the slate. Our Man on the Moon prospects are dead at this point and into the foreseeable future.

Rather, Obama turned around and told NASA chief Charles Bolton to concentrate on reaching out to Muslim nations in a spirit of scientific cooperation... Whatever the HELL that means.

How does "reaching out" to nations based on their dominant religion have anything to do with the scientific objectives of NASA?

— Doc Velocity




[edit on 7/17/2010 by Doc Velocity]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by Doc Velocity
I personally don't think it's lame, simply because its content is on the cutting edge of discovery.

Aesthetically, it may appear weak because it's a GOVERNMENT AGENCY, financed by the government. Government agencies are notoriously underfunded, uninspired and unimaginative.

The bulk of their money goes to R&D, not public relations.

— Doc Velocity


I was wondering when someone would state the obvious. They are a non-competitive government agency. It doesn't matte how much money you give them, they could never design a complex website that would be easy to navigate and have exciting looking news on the front page.

Its funny how people still don't understand that the US government sucks.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:45 PM
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I think looking for conspiracies in the boringness of NASA’s website is a stretch. I don’t think that "a few paragraphs explaining what they are doing on a missions main page” being missing is cause for alarm.

reply to post by Doc Velocity
 


Haha. Your post made me laugh. I could totally picture a jock in high school with the tone and everything saying that... but seriously... some nerds are cool



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