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Space Marketing Wars

By Marc Boucher
NASA Watch
April 26, 2012
Filed under , , ,

Space Marketing Campaigns Heat Up , Commercial Space Watch (With 3 videos)
United Launch Alliance has launched another salvo in the space marketing campaign war with its latest video title “What We Believe”. Dan Collins, Chief Operating Office, opens the video saying it’s not about the “smoke and fire”, which coincidentally is what Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne called their marketing video four months ago.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.

8 responses to “Space Marketing Wars”

  1. OpenTrackRacer says:

    The ULA spot was pretty sappy.  My favorite part…  “On budget”.  That was good for a laugh.  

    • charliexmurphy says:

      what do you mean good laugh?  ULA hasn’t asked for more money for missions on contract

  2. no one of consequence says:

    No surprise.

    ULA is under attack from many quarters. Yet they have the best record in the industry, and are relied upon by the nation for national security.

    If COTS2+ Dragon is successful, what is their answer? Nothing that is one for one the same. This is the vulnerability addressed.

    It isn’t a direct threat – no loss of revenue at all ever. But what it does is establish a low end potential competitor, who can encroach from below.

    Delta and Atlas were designed to occupy the low end of the market as well – but they didn’t achieve this. So even in the success of almost 100% with LV’s, Falcon 9 may shine a light on … but you failed at the low end. That’s galling.

    So where is much of the loss for Atlas/Delta – in the engines and avionics. The “R” in PWR is being sold. Tells you a lot.

    ULA will be around forever. But in what form? How will it be regarded … if it’s launch frequency suffers. It is not positioned to respond to the threat – that’s way Congress wants to cut-off “commercial” which it sees as too strong. Typical narrowmindedness. It actually exacerbates ULA’s problem.

    The AF has had this problem with ULA since before ULA. The bakeoff never happened to get down to one EELV. Why its so ironic that Congress wants one “commercial” – they want ATLAS/CST-100 to be it. Meaning no “commercial”.

    The correct solution is to create a launch systems market – an international market. No market protection at all. A gradual work down of all (past and present) government subsidies – sort of like with the airliner (Boeing vs. Airbus) games, which was made worse by the right’s narrowminded desire for one big competitor (multiple screwups from Wienberger’s forced mergers of aerospace, the collapse of Douglas, the exit of Lockheed from airlines). America needs more diversity in a competitive landscape to  establish itself in an international, commercial marketplace for launch services.

    Why this doesn’t happen is because of the protectionism coupled with nationalism of all nations with such capability. It is even harder than with Boeing/Airbus. Yet that is where we are at the crossroads.

    Here’s America’s strengths – lots of viable “commercial” companies. Few to none outside of the US, and most of those aren’t viable. What better time to compete … and call others (like with Airbus) on the protectionism they use.
    Use it in pricing wars.

    Congress is afraid of the law of unintended consequences … so they want to walk away from a hand of all aces. Because it fears … winning.

  3. LPHartswick says:

    ULA has a lot of film…SpaceX has really good graphics.

  4. DTARS says:

    I was able to watch these samples on my iPod through you tube with no apps or downloads. I’m hoping that I will be able to see spacexs April 30th test with the same ease. To me the videos are not that important. But im hoping that seeing Spacexs historic launch in May is easy for all to see. With live news possible with hand held devices I’m hoping I’m not left in the technical dark. 

    I liked Spacex video best only because I know it’s the key to an affordable space future.

  5. Craig Della Penna says:

    Good Grief! They’re just… dreadful. Hokey, amateurish, badly produced.
    If these are indicative of how commercial operations self-promote in
    the space biz, I can’t imagine what NASA does to show off.
    No wonder we’re going down the tubes. 

  6. John Gardi says:


    Just who are they trying to foist these ads on? Only Spacex seems to be inspiring J. Q. Public in a positive way. No fluff, no fear, no ‘by-line’. Just great graphics, great music and basic data; “We did this, we intend to do that”. The other two videos pander to someone… but it isn’t the masses.

    Spacex has everything going for it… except for the lack of government support (at the lawmaker level) and the stiff lobbying from their competition (because the can’t fight fair and square with Spacex in the marketplace).

    I say again, whats wrong with this picture? Should the Preamble to the United States Constitution be re-written:

    “We the Corporations…” ?


    • DTARS says:

      Super pack money. Corps are people now! we humans have been sold out to THEM!!!

      When I was in school I was taught that the judicial branch protected HUMAN RIGHTS.

      lololol oh well!