colab, government, nasa, presentations, second life

NASA CoLab in Congressional Testimony– sort of!

As part of the first ever US Congressional hearing simulcast with a virtual world (it wasn’t QUITE mixed-reality), the House Telecommunications & the Internet Subcommittee held a hearing last week entitled “Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars in a User-Generated Medium.”

During the hearing, Philip Rosedale, founder of Linden Lab, played a machinima video that featured NASA CoLab in Second Life… sort of! While it was great to be featured alongside NOAA as a pioneering example of Federal government use of virtual worlds, most of the video footage displayed was actually of NASA CoLab’s neighbor island, the International Spaceflight Museum.

ISM, an independent non-profit 501c3 organization, was the premier space-related destination in Second Life long before we at NASA came along, and without their generous advice and countless hours of hands-on support, it’s doubtful that NASA CoLab would have become a thriving open public+government community in Second Life. ISM still has the most extensive and beautiful space-related environment in Second Life in my opinion, and apparently Linden Labs’ machinima makers agree. I do hope that Linden Lab sets the record straight next time they’re in Congress, if not before!

UPDATE: Well, Linden Lab not only corrected the credit to ISM, they actually removed the footage of NASA CoLab island and removed all mention of NASA, which was unnecessary… Ah well!

colab, nasa, papers, second life

Paper About Mixed-Reality (Second Life / Real-Life) at the Next Generation Exploration Conference…

Posting the PDF here so that anyone can access it… Thanks again to the entire NASA and non-NASA Second Life team that made this mixed-reality event happen– and to the paper writing team that pulled together a record of the event and lessons learned in very short order. See also my original post about the event.

nasa, politics, reinventing government

Space Policy Under an Obama Administration

(please post comments over at the new thread instead of posting them here) Many space constituents are publicly critical of the Obama campaign for campaign rhetoric that is less overtly supportive of the status quo of the US space program than that of the Clinton or McCain campaigns. However, to this constituent of space, Obama’s ambivalence makes him THE MOST ATTRACTIVE Presidential candidate in this campaign.Why?Because I believe that the WORST CASE scenario for the US space program under a new Administration is the status quo, and that we’re quite unlikely– even under an Obama administration– to experience major cutbacks in public space spending, due to the political capital that the status quo of space policy enjoys in key large States.Thus, I believe the real issue of concern for space constituents in this Presidential campaign is how much IMPROVEMENT there can be on current space policy under a new Administration. In that context, I believe that an Administration LESS beholden to the status quo– an Obama Administration– is MORE likely to conduct a thorough and objective analysis of opportunities for improvement. Thus, while paying less lip service to the current space program at this juncture of the campaign, I believe that Obama is more likely than any other candidate to institute the sorts of reforms that many of us progressives who work in the space community wish to see, such as:-Appointing dynamic and technically competent leaders to the top posts at NASA who have the charisma and gravitas required to reform the culture of the Agency and turn it into the vibrant “startup” organization that it was decades ago as NACA, thus enabling it to better:-Pursue an aggressive human exploration program beyond LEO that pushes the envelope of technological innovation without significant budget increases, and presents inspiring opportunities for multi-national collaboration in the peaceful uses of outer space, and-Accelerate of the handover of LEO activities to ‘NewSpace’ private commercial enterprises, with the US and other governments as a customer, and with an emphasis on competition, entrepreneurship and innovation rather than large guaranteed “cost plus” contracts, and-Fully leverage NASA’s potential as an ‘Earth Systems Engineering’ Agency as a key component of a comprehensive Federal climate change mitigation program.I believe that an Obama Administration is far more likely to call for and to have the courage to see through these sorts of policy reforms than that of any other candidate that is today more overtly laudatory of the status quo of the US space program.Does anyone really want the status quo of the US space program to endure? (please post comments over at the new instead of posting them here)

colab, nasa, second life

Successful First Day of Mixed-Reality NASA “Next Generation Exploration Conference”

worden_in_sl2.jpgWe had the “Next Generation Exploration Conference II” streaming into NASA CoLab in Second Life all day today, creating a mixed reality conference. Below, NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden (above) and NASA Headquarters’ Ken Davidian (below) address NGEC up to 50 avatars on NASA CoLab island in Second Life as well as 100 young space entrepreneurs and NASA employees at NASA Ames in Silicon Valley. The conference continues on Wednesday with a blended Second Life and Real-Life working group on Lunar in-situ resource utilization.


colab, government, nasa, open data, space

Video of the last NASA CoLab “Luna Philosophie” Salon at Yahoo Brickhouse

Thanks to Salim Ismail for blogging the last NASA Luna Philosophie at his Yahoo Brickhouse facility. Luna Philosophie is a regular series of approximately monthly “space salons,” and is part of our NASA CoLab program, through which we’re building open collaborative communities for NASA.

Watch the video of NASA Ames’ Tom Cochrane’s Luna Philosophie talk about Virtual Reality System Engineering Environments for the Space Program.