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NASA to go into the space business?

Advertising space, that is

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In the future, astronauts will travel to the moon and beyond in spacecraft painted with advertising slogans, if a California Congressman has his way.

At present, NASA is not permitted to carry advertising: it is a publicly-funded organisation, and selling advertising space is a commercial business. But Congressman Ken Calvert has pledged to introduce a bill that would change that, allowing the space agency to sell the blank spaces on its kit to sponsors.

Given the fondness for nappies displayed by some (now ex) NASA staffers, perhaps Pampers would be interested in the opportunity.

But, cheap nappy jokes aside, the proposal has ruffled the feathers of JP Aerospace, a firm which specialises in "high altitude advertising". It says it would be unfair if NASA, as a tax-funded body, is allowed to compete in a commercial market.

JP Aerospace president John Powell said in a statement: "We're worried about an immediate impact. A customer could decide to wait and see what NASA has to offer." ®

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