NASA Is Considering the Sale of Advertising Rights on Spacecraft to Fund Missions

cageymaru

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According to a report, NASA officials are considering selling advertising rights for rockets and spacecraft. Astronauts might be permitted to appear in commercials and on cereal boxes. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine had this to say, "I'd like to see kids growing up, instead of maybe wanting to be like a professional sports star, I'd like to see them grow up wanting to be a NASA astronaut, or a NASA scientist," he said. "I'd like to see, maybe one day, NASA astronauts on the cover of a cereal box, embedded into the American culture."

Not all see this as a boon for the space agency. Scott Kelly, a former astronaut sees it as a big issue as there "would be a dramatic shift from the rules prohibiting government officials from using their public office for private gain." Another former astronaut is concerned that if Congress starts relying on funding for NASA missions coming from advertising, then lawmakers might balk at the government funding missions in the future. The current NASA rules package that explains advertising guidelines can be found here.

If NASA was able to loosen its restrictions, commercialization and branding could generate significant revenue. A study last year by the Science and Technology Policy Institute, a federally funded research and development center, found that a privately run space station could bring in between $455 million to $1.2 billion a year by participating in all sorts of commercial activities, including selling naming rights, allowing films to be shot in space, conducting research and hosting tourists.
 

drescherjm

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Seems like the prices will have to be very high to make any real difference. I mean space travel is enormously expensive.
 

vegeta535

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Isn't there a point of oversaturation with advertising? They cram it down our throats at ever turn. I almost never stop or pay attention to any kind of advertising that is put in front of me.
 

sfsuphysics

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A problem I see with this, is much like the lottery "helping schools" when these government funded entities get outside funding it makes it a lot easier to cut taxpayer funding to them because "hey look there's an outside source to keep them funded" and the net result is their total funding really doesn't increase by that much, if at all. It gets doubly bad when there's an expectation of external funding and the traditional funding is earmarked for that external income and then if it doesn't show up the other side doesn't make up the difference.
 

kju1

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The government should not be endorsing any products or services period. This is just a stupid idea. I would say I expect better of NASA but I lost faith in that agency years ago...
 

sfsuphysics

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Seems like the prices will have to be very high to make any real difference. I mean space travel is enormously expensive.
Yup, people might point at companies spending $5 million for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl, but the fact is millions upon millions are watching that, how many people really watch a space launch? Outside of the initial big giant coke can 'car wrap" on a space station section, I doubt people will really give a shit to watch. Remember ultimately these companies do track to see if spending on advertising in a particular venue/way is actually bringing in dividends.
 

drescherjm

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Yup, people might point at companies spending $5 million for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl, but the fact is millions upon millions are watching that, how many people really watch a space launch? Outside of the initial big giant coke can 'car wrap" on a space station section, I doubt people will really give a shit to watch. Remember ultimately these companies do track to see if spending on advertising in a particular venue/way is actually bringing in dividends.
Agreed, I was actually thinking of this when I replied.
 

The Mad Atheist

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Na, they'll just raise taxes.
Science on the other, "fuck that, what does science give us!?", says most of the US.
 

Carbon_Rod

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Despite Jeff Bezos owning his own space company, I think it would be ironic to see Amazon logos plastered all over the side of NASA rockets.
 

AK0tA

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It is not even about the funding from advertising. This is only another ginormous tax break angle for mega corps. No thanks I say, but I would like a space force T-shirt.
 
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If I'm honest... I would love to see an aircraft carrier all done up like a stock car.
Oh man. Imagine the possibilities that could have been had with G.W.Bush on the carrier with the mission accomplished banner. All the soldiers around him holding 6 shooters with Monster energy cans while being rained on by sugary beverages.
 

DrBorg

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There was a SF story I read in the 60's where an unnamed company paid someone off to stash a container aboard the first moonship that dispersed a dye over the whole lunar surface, in a nice pattern.

There was a hint it was red and white. :)

I halfway expected something like that to happen during Apollo, but it hasn't yet.

It won't take a lot of dye, lol.

EDIT:
Found it.






This is Arthur C. Clarke's "Watch This Space", first published on 1956-05-28 as part of the series Venture to the Moon in the Evening Standard. Venture to the Moon was collected into The Other Side of the Sky in 1958.

Captain Vandenburg was the one who suffered most. Before he came to the moon he was a confirmed teetotaler, and much of his refreshment came from a certain wasp-waisted bottle. But now, as a matter of principle, he can only drink beer — and he hates the stuff.​
 

Spidey329

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"T-Minus 10 minutes .. still plenty of time to catch some savings at Target's end of summer sale!"

"This launch is brought to you by the new Tostitos Rocket Hot Salsa chips, get them now."

"The PepsiCo Falcon-V has reached low earth orbit brought to you by Farmers Insurance."
 

seanreisk

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It is not even about the funding from advertising. This is only another ginormous tax break angle for mega corps. No thanks I say, but I would like a space force T-shirt.
This is oddly true, and it's giving me one of those strokey-beard moments - if large corporations are allowed to deduct advertising dollars from their taxes, how would advertising on government vehicles add any net income to government coffers?
 

J3RK

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Anyone that advertises on spacecraft or space gear of any kind should be required to have a franchise in space.
 

WBurchnall

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Isn't there a point of oversaturation with advertising? They cram it down our throats at ever turn. I almost never stop or pay attention to any kind of advertising that is put in front of me.
No, there is not. You might think you didn't pay attention, but your brain did. There's been a few different studies that show people tend to pick advertisers or advertisements that they have heard of before or been exposed to and are more likely to pick those they've been exposed to the most. Irregardless if they consciously remember the ad. Ads people remember unconsciously though feign slightly better. Those are typically very loud, very bright, one's that stand out as unusually quiet or extremely emotionally provoking. Hence why almost everyone jokingly remembers the "Arms of an Angel" by Sarah Mc..something about starving kids in African put on by Unicef from a few years ago. Even if it was done "over the top" one might remember it for the extreme cheesy or if it provoked actual sadness. I'm thinking more the former and its subsequent parodies on South Park, SNL, etc.
 

seanreisk

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... Irregardless if they consciously remember the ad.
Bonus likes for using the word 'irregardless', which I use all the time, and which my friends give me huge heaping tons of crap about.


P.S. We are starting the 'irregardless' movement. Henceforth, 'regardless' means that it doesn't matter which one you choose. 'Irregardless' will mean that it doesn't matter if you make a choice. THEN WE WILL BE JUSTIFIED! 'Irregardless' will shed it's wooden, puppety word-likeness and become A REAL WORD!

P.P.S. We shall win on the beaches! We shall when in the trenches! We shall win in the air! Irregardless, we shall win!
 

tetris42

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Isn't there a point of oversaturation with advertising? They cram it down our throats at ever turn. I almost never stop or pay attention to any kind of advertising that is put in front of me.
And yet it's not on THE MOON.
 

sirmonkey1985

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The government should not be endorsing any products or services period. This is just a stupid idea. I would say I expect better of NASA but I lost faith in that agency years ago...
like anything government they have to do what they can to get funded because the government sure as hell isn't going to do it.. if they had the option they'd just get rid of NASA all together and keep throwing money at the private sector because then they're not liable for anything that goes wrong.. if spaceX kills a bunch of astronauts, well that's spaceX's fault, not the governments.. as far as advertising goes, if they did something specifically on the crafts i'd like to see it stay science related, not mcdonalds or burger king or some bullshit like that.

either way they're definitely right about being worried that congress would use this as a way to cut even more funding so they're screwed no matter what they do.
 

AceGoober

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Glad to see NASA do it now instead of when Windows ME was Microsoft's current O/S.

NASA Advertising Agency: "We've signed a contract with Microsoft to advertise on our rockets!"

NASA: "Windows ME crashes. A lot."

NASA Advertising Agency: "Shit."
 

termite

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So Porn Hub, with a women wrapped around a rocket?

Sounds fine to me.
 

Uvaman2

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Is it sad that i laugh and cry a little when nasa announces new big ambitious projects that will never get funded?... Is this where we are .. ads for funding? Holy...
Why not ads for military funding... You could put small etchings of Coca-Cola ads in the fragments of bombs... Now that will be unforgettable to the survivors...
 

Aireoth

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This is oddly true, and it's giving me one of those strokey-beard moments - if large corporations are allowed to deduct advertising dollars from their taxes, how would advertising on government vehicles add any net income to government coffers?
Shhhh, you are a marked man now.
 

cdabc123

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I dont see too much issue with this as honestly its basically complete profit however the government would find a way to fuck it up somehow...
 
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