Saturday, March 6, 2010

NASA: EESU Originally Called "Rapid Energy Delivery Battery" REDB

You may recall a couple articles I wrote concerning a FOIA request issued to NASA headquarters by world famous EEStor follower, RT. In that request, we learned that EEStor had submitted six proposals to the SBIR program in 2002. If you check the original release, the last page shows an email from an employee who found the proposals using a search tool at NASA. The original FOIA request should have encompassed those proposals redacted of any proprietary information. Additionally, NASA should have provided any records surrounding those proposals including meeting notes, emails, etc associated with the proposals. They should have done this because it is the law.

Instead, NASA said the proposals no longer existed. Out of anger, I used the word 'Assholes' to convey my displeasure. That is a really inappropriate word to use in a serious blog such as this where my world renowned journalist skills are showcased so frequently. I really regret having said that about NASA. I wish I had chosen a more professional way of expressing myself and calling to light an issue which definitely deserves more light. Therefore, I am redacting what I said earlier and would ask you, kind reader to forgive me for this breach of your trust in my professionalism. I would be very appreciative, dear reader, if you would replace what I said earlier:

'Assholes at NASA'

with this updated phrase which I think may foster more understanding of the actual facts:

'Incompetent Assholes at NASA.'

Perhaps slightly because of my maniacal, non-stop prodding, RT continued to follow up with NASA and recently asked for a print out of the prior search of the proposals. Fortunately, we got a copy of that print out. While it doesn't seem to provide any important new information, (unless you consider what is likely the first attempt at naming the device prior to arriving at EESU), it did lead me on a little quest for knowledge.

First, it would appear from the proposal notes that the first name for an EESU was intended to be Rapid-Energy-Delivery-Battery. REDB. Does't roll off the tongue, does it? No. We can conclude then that EEStor has made progress outside of what has been revealed in their press releases. Don't accept any lies to the contrary.

Secondly, at the bottom of the print out, you can see the server against which the query was issued. After poking around, I called the support line for the system in question and learned that indeed all 6 of the proposals ARE IN FACT STILL ON THE SERVER. I asked the person supporting the app to look at each proposal and determine the number of pages in each. (ranges from 14-17). Alas, the documents were not authorized for this particular individual.

At first glance, there would be sufficient facts to warrant calling this a NASA COVERUP!!! But, I'm not prone to conspiracies and so I actually did a bit more digging and as best as I can surmise, we're dealing with nothing more than incompetence and laziness in the FOIA office. I won't name names or go into any's immaterial. But I am convinced there are more documents that have not been released.

I hope this clarifies this particular episode in the EEStory and that you won't judge me by my incomplete phrasing about NASA earlier.

PS: No, I don't mean ALL of NASA.