Pointing Fingers: Government vs. NASA

247646852476468520120519_0035_arrows_businessWe know that pointing fingers is not uncommon in government but in a recent article in the Washington Post (12.6.2012) ”Whither NASA?: Agency’s strategy, mission and vision lack clarity, expert panel finds” the administration, Congress and NASA could all point to each other.

Two years ago, President Obama announced at Cape Canaveral, Florida that a manned mission to an asteroid by 2025 would be among one of NASA’s goals. However, the National Research Council who was assigned to report by NASA at the request of Congress found little effort to initiate the asteroid mission and more telling, assessed the agency’s mission and vision statements to be generic and could “apply to almost any government research and development agency.” The report further stated that the agency’s strategic objectives were vague on details and “of little value from the perspective of establishing clear and unifying strategic directions for NASA.

NRC Committee chairman, Albert Carnesale stated that in terms of human space flight it was unclear whether the priority was an asteroid, the moon or Mars. “If you look at what the administration says and look at what Congress says and look at the strategic plan” said Carnesale, “It is not clear what the priorities are.” The article reported that the committee determined that the agency, without that guidance “cannot reasonably be expected” to put together an effective strategy.

NASA needs to revisit their mission and vision statements and update them to reflect on a more focused future – one that is agreed upon by this Country’s leadership.  A splintered approach will not be achievable, especially in light of today’s budgetary constraints.  It is important for NASA to update their mission statement and vision statement in order to reflect a more focused future.  If you need help with revisiting and updating your mission and vision statements, go to www.missionvisionstatement.com now.

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