NASA Space Equity Action Plan

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of America has released an equity action plan with the aim of making space more accessible. This new plan supports the efforts of the US government regarding the plans it has to make space accessible.

Overview:

  • This Equity Action plan has deepened the commitments to identify and remove the barriers that are limiting opportunity in the underrepresented and underserved communities.
  • This framework will add fairness as a core component to every mission of NASA to make space more accessible to all.

Focus areas of the space equity action plan

Four areas of focus have been listed in the space equity action plan. They are:

Equity in contracts and procurements
  • According to NASA focus must be shown on businesses that are categorised as service-disabled veterans, disadvantaged, historically underutilised, and women-owned businesses that can promote equitable development of the economy.
  • NASA has made plans to engage with contractors in the underserved communities including studying barriers in the procurement programmes, using dedicated product service lines, and increasing engagement events.
  • By 2029, NASA has aimed to increase the outreach events for the underserved communities by 50 per cent.
  • NASA will also be attempting to improve the number of participants by 5 to 10 per cent annually.
Using earth science and other related data to help in mitigating environmental challenges
  • NASA will be making its 5o most-requested data sets on the environment of last year available on the internet so as to make information on earth science easily accessible to all.
  • By the year 2025, the full transfer of the earth science data of NASA to the cloud will be complete.
  • NASA will be hosting data sets for environmental justice on the Amazon Web Services Open Data platform.
  • Around 2,700 users will be trained by NASA to use the data of the agency effectively so that environmental parameters like water resource management and air quality can be addressed.
Increase in cooperative agreements and grants
  • The barriers that are preventing the underserved communities from accessing grants might include hindrances blocking access to information, lack of understanding of the processes of NASA, and inadequate resources.
  • To overcome these barriers, the organization has been working to identify Historically Black Universities and Colleges, small/minority-owned businesses, and MSIs that are eligible for receiving the grants but are not submitting applications.
  • The barriers will also be analyzed for those that did not receive awards irrespective of the status of their application.
Increased compliance of external civil rights and access for the limited English proficient population groups
  • By 2024, NASA has plans to increase its reviews of civil rights compliance to ten per year.
  • Language barrier is a major reason why non-English speakers have limited access to the resources of NASA.
  • NASA has plans to publish an updated pan on language access. This will be including multilingual communication pieces at the organization’s centres.

Authorities of this programme

An executive team that will be led by the deputy administrator of NASA will be leading the organization’s efforts towards this programme. A leadership council has also been established that will be led by NASA’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity and it will be providing quarterly reports to the executive team.

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