More or less everyone has seen the NASA space shuttle launch from the cape in Florida, USA either being lucky enough to have been there at the right time, or like the rest of us seen it on TV. Like any other major event the launch draws in a lot of attention, so begs the question why no adverts on the side of the space shuttle itself?
A US Congressman thinks so too and if he gets the backing required we may be seeing this happening sooner than we think. Congressman Ken Calvert has introduced a bill that will allow this to happen, however as with almost every publicly funded bodies, seeking additional funding through commercial advertising is not allowed, but the bill could change all of that.
The closest thing to this at the moment is High Altitude Advertising, there are several companies that specialize in this type of media, but their delivery vehicles are normally Hot Air Balloons, Airships and Blimps, so having the mighty NASA, as a direct competitor will not go down with them very well at all. This would, if it ever “got off the ground” have serious implications for NASA and other publicly funded bodies, where would it all end?
To put it all in perspective, to sponsor an engine cover on a Formula One car prices start at around $3,000,000 for the season, you can see the advertising industries eyes lighting up here, dividing the space shuttle up into little segments for companies to bid on and that is before we have even mentioned the astronauts flying suits! The equivalent has to be motor racing again, driver suits are almost completely covered in ads, could this be the future of space travel, will we ever see the commercialization of NASA? Some feel it is the only way ahead.
Source [The Register]