Why is the NASA Astronaut Office Censoring Astronaut Don Pettit's Blog?

Its too bad that control freaks have gotten the middle of this. Pettit (and Garan before him) are unusually good at relating their experiences to wide audiences at home. Now these long-term ISS residents will have official worriers from the Astronaut Office sitting in a cubicle trying to make sure that the fresh and unfiltered nature of these blog postings never sees the light of day.

The following Reader note was posted on NASA Watch on 31 Jan: "The following relates to previous discussions on NASAwatch about what text, pictures, items, etc belong to NASA and which belong to the astronauts themselves. I really have been enjoying reading Don Pettit's blog at Air & Space about his life on the ISS. It appears that NASA or someone has censored his blog. His blog entry "Remove before Flight" posted yesterday 1/3/0/2011 is no longer available. Try: this original link and it comes back with nothing. If you enter this into Google, you will see Google's cache of the post: cache:http://blogs.airspacemag.com/pettit/2012/01/30/remove-before-flight/ . I'm also attaching an image of Google's cached page in case the Google cached page disappears."

A formal request was sent to NASA PAO to explain this situation so as to uncover what actually happeend. A week later and I am still waiting for a NASA PAO response. I have also requested the original image of the "CAUTION" tag so that we can see what it says.

This is what I have learned behind the scenes. Fact is, JSC PAO did not have a role in this - at first - since they were out of the loop until the blog post was deleted and inquiries started. The Astronaut Office ordered the removal of this post. Don Pettit's blogs were being sent directly to Air & Space magazine without prior approval by the Astronaut Office or JSC PAO - just as Ron Garan's postings to "Fragile Oasis" had been handled throughout his entire mission.

The Astronaut Office saw this post by Pettit, thought that it was unacceptable, and told Air & Space that they had to take it offline. The post remains offline with no reason given as to why it was unacceptable or what could be done to make it acceptable. (you can still read it here)

Now, JSC PAO hopes that I will get tired of beating this issue and then move on. JSC PAO is also afraid that if the whole story got out that the Astronaut Office would be made to look bad. So, if JSC responds formally to my request you can rest assured that they are not telling the whole story.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.