Monday, December 14, 2009

NASA can learn from NASCAR.

I’ve been reading about entrepreneur extraordinaire Richard Branson who, along with engineer extraordinaire Burt Rutan, is building a commercial space facility in New Mexico.

Starting as early as 2011, you’ll be able to take a short suborbital hop for $200,000. Hundreds of folks have already placed deposits for a flight 70 miles above the earth and five minutes of zero-G.

The Russians will take you up to the International Space Station for $20 million.

All these prices are out of reach for most of us, but the bottom line is … the bottom line. Making money off space travel.

This leads me to wonder why NASA hasn’t gotten on the bandwagon. Theirs is a constant fight with Congress for budgeting. As they said in the movie "The Right Stuff," “No bucks, no Buck Rogers.”

There are ads on everything these days from busses to stadiums to race cars. Why not the space shuttle, or whatever next generation rocket comes along? Can you imagine what some companies would pay to have their brand on the side of a spaceship? Or on space suits?

Hey, it works just fine for NASCAR, so why not NASA?

Space exploration is important. It’s in our nature to want to explore to see what’s over the next hill or the next planet.

Why not earn a little advertising revenue along the way? Or would that make too much sense? Tax dollars are hard to come by these days and the voters are getting restless.


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at