Don't panic!

Joe Dellinger (
Fri, 12 Jun 1998 14:56:04 -0500

	Trying to talk to NASA through their contractor sysop didn't seem
to be working. Fortunately, the OIG telnet site also lists a NASA contact
address for written inquiries:

>        NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
>        Networks and Mission Services, Code 450
>        Attn: Orbital Information Group/OIG
>        Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA

	I had a friend at Goddard look up the phone number of the person who
receives mail sent to that mail code, and I gave him a call.

	As I suspected, he told me that NASA has little idea as to how
their data gets used, and certainly was not INTENDING to damage the amateur
community. (For example, he had heard about the glinting Iridiums phenomenon,
but did not know that it was discovered and nailed down by "amateurs" who
were using reprocessed versions of their data to keep track of the satellites.)
Unfortunately, that person is not directly responsible for such decisions.
He promises to forward on our concerns to the person who is. (He knows the
name, and if you call and ask you can probably get a phone number to go
with that name too.)

	Since this fellow seemed on the ball (he DID speedily return my phone
call) and overworked, rather than overwhelm him or harrass his boss let's just
have a few of the "most worthy" contact him. I've forwarded on information on
how to contact him to a few "obvious worthies":,,,,,,

	Basically he needs to be able to educate the people who do have
power over the telnet site as to how their data is being used, and why it
would harm the public interest to remove the telnet site without a suitable
alternative for the few "worthy high-volume users".

	If "going through channels" and working up the bureaucratic chain
doesn't work, then we can consider getting people to call Goddard's
public-relations desk en masse as a convincing demonstration of how many
people they are harming. I suspect that won't be necessary, though.

	I'm out of town the next week. Hopefully this will get the ball
rolling... Good luck, and don't panic!