Friday, October 07, 2005

NASA Website Analysis

§ While searching and exploring different articles and press release’s on NASA’s site about the Columbia tragedy, I discovered many things that I did not know. The one that really caught my eye was a press release about the tragedy two months after it happened. Space Shuttle Columbia, which was lost on February 1, 2003 fifteen minutes prior to landing; due to this loss, President Bush signed into law on April 22, 2003, the “Columbia Arbiter Memorial Act.” This allows a memorial to be placed in the Arlington national Cemetery right near the memorial for the crew of the Challenger. It allowed NASA to collect gifts and donations over the next 5 years. The law allows NASA to transfer collected money or property for the fund to the Secretary of the Army to defray expenses.

§ While I was reading about the Challenger disaster I found in ironic that they seemed to focus more on what the orbiter did, as opposed to it being one of the worst tragedies ever. However, I was surprised how accomplished this space shuttle was. Many firsts were accomplished with this orbiter prior to the disaster on January 28, 1986. The Challenger holds the record for the largest crew, 8, ever to fly in space on a single mission. It also was the first spacewalk of the shuttle program, first woman in space and was also the first flight of an African American. After this disaster, only 45% of the orbiter was recovered.

§ Researching the climate and culture of NASA, the site really makes you feel as though anybody can be a part of NASA. They really are inviting of résumé’s and offer many links for applications to apply. Whether you are a student, an adult, or even out of the military, there are links and areas specifically for a diverse group of people. I think that this shows the culture to be very welcoming and inviting, and wanting to advance in our country’s space program. They really focus on the future and new recruitment tools, such as the NASA Stars program to gain people who are the best in these fields.