This Moon Landing Brought to You By... NASA Announces That They Might Be Putting Ads on Rockets

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 - 10:58AM
Space
NASA
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 - 10:58AM
This Moon Landing Brought to You By... NASA Announces That They Might Be Putting Ads on Rockets
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Image Credit: Composite Pixabay/Drydenart
A lot of cyberpunk books and movies imagine a future where corporations control not just Earth, but the stars, too. It always seemed a little far-fetched, partly because space has always been neutral ground, if not hallowed ground. Space travel is how humans challenge the universe itself and unite as a species to push the boundaries of what's possible. No one would, for example, allow Disney to rename the Moon 'Disneyworld 2,' even if they paid a huge sum of money to do it, because space is the final frontier, not a roadside billboard. 

That doesn't mean spacecraft are exempt from this breach of common sense and good taste.

According to a recent article in the Washington PostNASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said that brand deals and rights sales might be on the horizon for the space agency: "Is it possible for NASA to offset some of its costs by selling the naming rights to its spacecraft or the naming rights to its rockets? I'm telling you there is interest in that right now. The question is: Is it possible? The answer is: I don't know, but we want somebody to give us advice on whether it is."

In addition to naming space equipment (probably something like the "GE Innovation Rocket Booster-2"), Bridenstine has said the agency will look into whether companies can buy brand placements on spacecraft (like NASCAR) and whether astronauts can appear in commercials endorsing products.

Meanwhile, late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert has re-imagined what the Apollo Moon landing would have looked like if it had brand sponsors:



With SpaceX preparing to become the first private company to carry a human crew into space and the discovery of an asteroid worth $700 quintillion dollars, it now seems naive to think that space would be free of private industry forever. Though NASA still needs to make up its mind, it seems the gravitational tug of money is pulling it into the orbit of corporations.

Image credit: Composite from Pixabay/Dryden Art
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