Nasa astronauts could soon have their faces on cereal packets
Ready for the Kellogg’s rocket and Cadbury rover? Nasa astronauts could soon have their faces on cereal packets as space agency looks to private companies to sponsor missions
- The comments were made by Nasa Administrator Jim Bridenstine
- He says corporations could buy the naming rights to space missions
- In 1966 Nasa had 4.41 per cent of the US’s total federal budget but now that figure is less than 0.5 per cent
Soon Nasa astronauts could have their faces on cereal packets and their rockets branded with private company logos.
This is according to Nasa Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who says the space agency is considering getting corporations to buy the naming rights to missions in a bid to commercialise space activities.
In 1966 Nasa had 4.41 per cent of the US’s total federal budget but now that figure is less than 0.5 per cent.
At the end of last year, President Donald Trump directed Nasa to send Americans to the Moon for the first time in decades, despite cutting his 2018 budget for it by around $200 million (£156m).
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Soon Nasa astronauts could have their faces on cereal packets and their rockets branded with private company logos. This handout photo shows the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Parker Solar Probe on board launching last month
According to Mr Bridenstine , who was speaking before the Nasa Advisory Council, ‘there is interest’ in pushing through commercial endorsements.
‘We’re talking about, potentially — 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?’, he said at the Ames Research Centre in California’s Silicon Valley, according to Space.com.
‘The question is, is it possible? The answer is, I don’t know. But we’re looking to the committee to give us advice on whether or not it is.’
Mike Gold, who is vice president for government contracts at Colorado-based space-tech company Maxar Technologies said astronauts may also be able to film adverts on the International Space Station, something that is currently forbidden.
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He said this could increase the agency’s exposure, meaning there could be more people interested in becoming astronauts in the future.
‘When new industrial substances are created, commercial experiments conducted, or even advertisements filmed, American astronauts should lead the way’, he said.
‘Speaking of astronauts, the committee will examine giving them the freedom to pursue endorsements and other media opportunities.
‘Our astronauts are American heroes, and deserve to be treated as such’, he said.
Mr Gold said that if the US did not lead the way, foreign competitors would get there first.
Last month Mr Bridenstine (pictured) revealed his hopes for long-term human settlement on the moon
Last month Mr Bridenstine revealed his hopes for long-term human settlement on the moon.
In a meeting with reporters at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston Mr Bridenstein elaborated on plans to build ‘Gateway’ modules that will orbit the moon and, ultimately, close the gaps in space exploration.
‘We want lots of humans in space,’ he said, according to Space.com.
The Gateway craft will initially support brief science missions of about 30-60 days, and will be key to exploring the moon in greater detail than ever before.
And, in the years to follow, a second module could be used to carry astronauts to Mars.
WHEN DID NASA LAST LAUNCH CREWED MISSIONS FROM THE US?
Shuttle Columbia is shown during lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center in 2003
NASA launched its first space shuttle, Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1), from the Kennedy Space Center on April 12, 1981.
In the three decades that followed, the space agency deployed a total of 135 missions from US soil.
Columbia was only the beginning; following in its footsteps, NASA launched Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor to carry people to orbit.
These launches also allowed for the construction of the International Space Station – the largest structure in space, that’s now home to a revolving crew of astronauts from all around the world, conducting important experiments that continue to advance our knowledge of the cosmos.
The shuttle missions came to an end with the Atlantis shuttle on July 21, 2011 after STS-135.
In the years since, NASA has had to rely on Russian modules to send astronauts to the ISS, all of which launch from foreign soil.
Now, the space agency is stepping up efforts to bring crewed launches back home.
On August 3, 2018, NASA revealed the nine astronauts that will soon take to space aboard the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon, to pioneer a ‘new era in American spaceflight.’
The crew flight tests will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in 2019.
The shuttle missions came to an end with the Atlantis shuttle on July 21, 2011 after STS-135. Above, Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fl, marking the official end of the 30-year program
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