A group of senators and State Duma deputies in Russia have proposed legislation that would allow the country’s space agency, Roscosmos, to sell advertising space on space rockets. The politicians argue that this move could generate significant revenue for Roscosmos, potentially amounting to 200 million rubles ($2.1 million) per year.
The proposed advertising campaigns would be linked to existing space programs and serve multiple purposes. First, they would aim to popularize space activities and generate public interest in the field. Second, the campaigns would help attract young talent to the space industry, cultivating a new generation of space professionals. Lastly, the revenue generated from these ads would be specifically earmarked for the development of innovative space programs and projects.
According to the draft law presented in the State Duma, the placement of outdoor advertising on space infrastructure objects could generate additional income for both the Russian federal budget and Roscosmos. The revenue from these activities would be shared equally between the two entities.
Sergei Volkov, head of the Department for Coordination and Management of Research and Development of Launch Vehicles at Roscosmos’ Progress Rocket and Space Center (RSC), provided further details about the ongoing efforts to secure contracts for advertising on rockets. He revealed that there are designated zones on spacecraft that can be allocated for commercial purposes, adding that they are working towards obtaining the necessary rights for signing these contracts.
While the idea of advertising on space vehicles might seem novel, it has been done once before. In the past, a Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome carried the logo of Sberbank, a financial institution. This occurred at the request of Sberbank’s CEO, Herman Gref, to commemorate the bank’s 180th anniversary.
The introduction of advertising on rockets presents a unique opportunity for generating revenue and promoting space exploration. It taps into the growing trend of commercialization in the space industry, with private companies like SpaceX already making significant strides in this area.
If the legislation is approved, it could open the door for other space agencies around the world to explore similar revenue-generating strategies. As space exploration becomes more accessible to both government organizations and private enterprises, innovative funding solutions like advertising on rockets could help support future missions and advancements in space technology.
Overall, the proposal to permit advertising on space rockets aims to foster public interest in space activities, attract young talent to the industry, and generate essential funding for innovative space programs. By capitalizing on the commercial potential of space vehicles, Roscosmos could secure a new and sustainable revenue stream, further propelling advancements in space exploration.