Why does an organization like NASA have the need to classify documents? Why are their findings not made public immediately?


Why does an organization like NASA have the need to classify documents? Why are their findings not made public immediately?

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NASA exists to make technology, scientific research and space travel for private US companies even better. Sometimes this means that they have to not tell people about some of their findings so that the right experts from universities can research their findings and release more science ideas. This process is called peer review, and when you don’t do it, the news can make scientific findings sound different than they actually are, which confuses people.

In short, NASA finds facts and sometimes those facts need to be verified and have theories attached before they’re released so research can be better targeted.

**shrug** They do it for a variety of reasons: national security, protecting scientific and technological breakthroughs, guarding their intellectual property, giving permitted peers in the field time to review, verify, and offer conclusions about any research …

For something, it is because it is dual-use technology that in this case is both peaceful and military usage.

So they do not what to give everything away about rockest because North Korea and others could use it in their missile program. So it is a good idea to keep some parts secret.

Another reason is that stuff they use like the Falcon 9 that hopefully will launch astronauts to space tomorrow is a designed owned by a private company Space X that do not like their designs spread around. So NASA reports do not contain confidential information from them.

On the other hand, if you look at the data from science missions in space most of them today have the data public on the web almost directly.

They sometimes directly use military (or ex-military) technology. Hubble is a prime example, being derived partly from cold-war spy satellites, just pointed around away from Earth.

Rockets, too, have technology heavily funded by the military for ballistic missiles.

There’s enough overlap that some discoveries, especially those close to Earth where weapons might be used, have to be checked out for national security reasons.

Further away from Earth, like planetary probes, there should be less of a problem.

They don’t “need” to, it is entirely a political decision. Every facet of our government should be entirely transparent, but we put a lot of authoritarians in power who can’t handle the idea and insist on secrecy. We give them so much power we make it easy. Transparency is hard, but it is the most secure.