On Jul 31, 2007, at 8:03 AM, email@example.com
> For what it's worth, I disagree with the guy who recently tried to
> paint with a very broad brush a picture that NASA didn't/doesn't have
> much of
> a need for security clearances & the like.
> Another neat thing that was fun to occasionally eavesdrop in on
> during my
> COMINT heydey of the 1980s was the NASA HF links to some of their
> stations, for example, Ascension Island. I'm going by ancient memory
> here, but
> they had two freqs, 20186 & 20189, and I recall one often had
> multiplex on it, but the other provided a live audio feed during
> operations, and then was also used for phone patches between CONUS
> NASA & the
> remote tracking stations.
> And in numerous phone patches, I heard administrators trying to
> or speed-up security clearances for personnel, saying that having to
> 'busy-work' for the person was a waste of $$ & that the next shuttle
> was coming up prior to the average 6 months it'd take for the guy's
> (NASA or
> contractor) Secret clearance to finally come through, etc.
> A Google search on "NASA +security clearances" gives plenty of
> hits, too.
I would not judge all of nasa by listening to admin traffic from
one of their tracking stations - the remote (Ascension Island
is the very definition remote) tracking stations often had non-NASA
activities as customers, since there isn't an air force tracking station
there, or an NRO tracking station there, etc. So in a way, you have
come upon what is likely one of the MOST classified of nasa
operations, not because of anything that nasa is doing that generates
classified information, but because they have to have the clearances
that allow them to be exposed to the customers classified data. Good
catch there - it is obscura for sure.