So it appears that the masses have been polled in order to find a more popular and accessible slogan for our beleaguered NASA. Wired, in search of yet another way to stay “relevant” has put together a little voting tool for the online world to express their views as to what NASA’s slogan should be….
Granted, I concur that the one NASA has come up with: “NASA explores for answers that power our future” is pretty lame. Some of the ones that were suggested are, unfortunately, equally lame. But some are downright brilliant, including the one I chose for the subject heading of this post.
The deeper issue, of course, is that NASA is having a hard time with a slogan because they don’t actually have a clear mission. NASA is many organisations living under one badge, often with very different agendas, goals, and skills. This is the result of 40+ years of organic growth, the building of a number of programs that probably should never have been started (ISS/STS being the biggest budget hogs in that category) and the slow destruction of the first “A” in NASA. I remember 8 years ago being involved in discussions with HQ about their trying to simplify their strategic plans, which were a nightmare amalgamation of different Codes, field centers, programs, and resulted in a deck of powerpoint slides that could only be described using the Aussie description: a dog’s breakfast.
One other point of note: perhaps it should be telling to the folks at NASA (and the alt.space.booster community) that the nature of many of the comments or suggested slogans at the Wired website which have high positive rankings are cynical, snarky, or just generally make fun of NASA. Perhaps the public really is speaking its mind….