Space Shuttle, Brought To You By…

“The space shuttle Endeavour in a Toyota commercial?” complains Steve Lopez, the L.A. Times’ columnist. “Who sold out on that one? NASA?”

What, it was okay for Delos Harriman to use sponsors’ money to go the moon, but in real life we’re supposed to be too proud?

When the space shuttle Endeavour moves from LAX to its permanent home near USC next week, it will be towed part way by a half-ton Toyota Tundra pickup truck “– or at least it’ll look that way through the magic of television –” sneers Lopez, best known for his columns about Nathaniel Ayers, the homeless cello prodigy who inspired a movie, The Soloist.

Tang breakfast drink would probably like a piece of that action, given its history with the space program. But I’d rather go with local brands.

Philippe’s could take one half of the tail section, El Cholo the other half.

Better yet, Astro Burger, the Galaxy, the Griffith Observatory.

At the Science Center, kids could learn not just about space travel, but about the ever-expanding world of advertising platforms.

Lopez might be right about one thing. In “The Man Who Sold the Moon” a soft drink manufacturer pays to preempt a rival from spraying its logo in black dust on the lunar surface, and if NASA was as clever as Delos Harriman, Toyota would be paying not to have its product advertised.

3 thoughts on “Space Shuttle, Brought To You By…

  1. Actually. Toyota has donated millions of dollars to that exhbit as well as the larger museum. Someone was going to say no when they make that truck here in the USA? The brand may be Japanese, but the truck is a citizen.

  2. If America was so proud of its manned space program, why doesn’t it have one at the momoent? Another way of putting it is, “if you put shares of your business up for sale, you can’t control who buys them.”

    I like to think this is a step in the right direction, though. I would rather the first manned outpost on the Moon or Mars be multi-national, and not fly the flag of Russia, China, India, Brazil *or* the US exclusively… even primarily. We’re all on this planet together; let’s leave it together. Except for the Uzbeks, of course.

    (That’s an old SCTV joke, by the way.)

  3. We do have a manned space program in the commercial sector. It’s just starting. Wasn’t this what we always hoped for?

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