Because exploring space costs money, and providing that money isn't on the government's priority list, NASA is currently exploring the possibility of astronaut endorsements, as well as naming rights to missions and rockets. Obviously, if there's no-- "Geekologie mission to Uranus we've all failed as a people." Dammit, this was supposed to be my inspirational speech.
NASA's new leader is gung-ho on privatizing spaceflight, and that could lead to some new approaches to branding... like it or not. Administrator Jim Bridenstine has unveiled a NASA Advisory Council committee that will explore the feasibility of commercializing the agency's operations in low Earth orbit to lower its costs while its eyes turn toward the Moon and Mars. Some of these plans could include product endorsements from astronauts and even selling the naming rights to rockets and other spacecraft. You could see an astronaut on a box of Wheaties, or a Red Bull mission to the Red Planet.
Committee head Mike Gold indicated that the committee would also consider scrapping "obsolete" regulations to let American astronauts support private activities aboard the International Space Station. Companies shouldn't have to "turn to Russian cosmonauts" for private operations, he said, suggesting that astronauts could even be involved in filming ads.
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean NASA in desperate need of cash to continue their plans of space exploration. Personally, I think the whole rocket game should just be privatized, if you know what I mean. "You mean letting private companies do it all." Wrong kind of privatized. "You mean using your penis as a reusable rocket." It's cheap and it's fast.
Thanks to Closet Nerd, who informed me he's got $20 on getting a rocket named Geekologie. Heck yeah, we're so close I can almost taste the exhaust plume.