Currently, the American space agency NASA is quite keen on privatizing spaceflights and it appears that this could lead to a whole new avenue of branding as well. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has recently disclosed a NASA Advisory Council committee, which will look into the new ways to commercialize the agency's spaceflight operations in Earth's lower orbit.
The committee's responsibilities will include evaluating the new approaches and see how feasible they are. The aim is to reduce the costs of lower orbit spaceflight, while the agency puts more importance on Moon and Mars missions, reported Parabolic Arc.
Reportedly, some of these new commercialization approaches may also include product endorsements by astronauts and selling the naming rights to rockets and other spacecraft. So, basically, you may soon see some astronaut's face on a cereal box or your favourite beer brand's name on a rocket.
The head of this committee Mike Gold also indicated that they would consider changing the "obsolete" regulations, which never allowed the American astronauts to support private activities aboard the International Space Station. As per Gold, these regulations would be changed for good, so that companies don't have to go to the Russian cosmonauts every time they want to conduct some private operation. He also suggested that we may even see astronauts in ad films too.
As Bridenstine stated, he was not sure whether or not this kind of commercialization was possible, hence, the committee was formed. He noted that this might help NASA in the space race against the private firms.
However, many think that there will be a significant amount of resistance against this new commercialization of NASA. For example, several scientists don't like the idea of commercializing their lives' works. For them, NASA has always been a 'safe' place in terms of their pure scientific quest.
Many ethical and moral questions are being raised and NASA will have to consider all these concerns before diving into the deep water of commercialization.