NASA Needs a Top-Down House Cleaning

By: - June 21, 2021

On Tuesday, June 15, 2021 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a request for information (RFI):

“Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities in NASA Programs, Contracts and Grants. To this RFI, the agency is seeking public feedback as it conducts a thorough review of its programs, practices, and policies to assess:

  • Potential barriers that underserved and underrepresented communities and individuals may face in agency procurement, contract, and grant opportunities.
  • Whether new policies, regulations, or guidance may be necessary to advance equity and opportunities in agency actions and programs.
  • How agency resources and tools can assist in enhancing equity, including advancing environmental justice.

Areas in which the agency would like to receive comments include:

  • Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASA and in the STEM Community
  • Opportunities for NASA to Leverage its Data, Expertise, and Missions to Help Underserved Communities
  • Barriers/Gaps to Accessing Current NASA Grants, Programs, and Procurements
  • Engagement and Outreach with Organizations and Individuals from Underserved and Underrepresented Communities

Underserved and underrepresented communities include: Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”

This is a continuation of the foolhardy nonsense that has plagued this federal agency over the past decades.  It is an agency that has become little more than a welfare agency for Ph.Ds. who cannot make it in the commercial world.  In order for it to return to its intended purpose, the entire agency needs a top-down house cleaning, including the removal of its present administrator, Bill Nelson, for allowing this sort of non-sense to persist.  Just because he was permitted, as a member of Congress, to participate on a space shuttle flight does not make him suited for the role of NASA Administrator.

Note: NASA has had a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Implementation Plan for a long time, something in the range of ten years.  After that long of a time frame, it is reasonable to deduce that their welfare Ph.Ds. are not handling the situation in a satisfactory manner.

NASA’s mission is to:

  1. Explore, use, and enable the development of space for human enterprise.
  2. Advance scientific knowledge and understanding of the Earth, the Solar System, and the Universe and use the environment of space for research.
  3. Research, develop, verify, and transfer advanced aeronautics, space, and related technologies.

For the NASA mission to be successful it requires people who have high levels of understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  STEM is not discriminatory.  It does not care if people are “Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality”, white, and/or pink with purple polka dots.

What is clearly evident in youth who do not have an understanding of STEM is that for the most part there is a lack of parental involvement in their (the youth’s) education system.  The teaching and learning of math and science takes commitment and diligence by not only the youth, but by their parents and educators.  If NASA wishes to bring forth a higher participation of those from backgrounds of “persistent poverty or inequality” they must find a way to engage the parental involvement of the youth at an early age.  The parents and all of our society must demand that the failing American school systems correct themselves and adequately teach science, technology, engineering, and math.

Every now and then, Hollywood gets it right: Watch Video

Another troubling aspect of this NASA RFI is the clear signal it is sending to the Nation.  NASA is attempting to bring forth a policy that will solidify the agency as “systemically racist” by mandating the use of skin color, ethnicity, gender, and sexual preference to determine its hiring.   NASA’s policy will make the agency racist.  The continuation of such thought processes are destructive and harmful to the nation.  The agency should be restructured, reorganized, or dissolved if it is unable to correct itself.

NASA’s RFI and policies are clearly counter to: “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King, Jr.