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Saturday, 21 September, 2002, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
'Open space to everyone'
Launch, Esa
Ferrari says its space tie-in is "purely non-commercial"
As the European Space Agency joins forces with Ferrari to go to the Red Planet, Gert Weyers of Mir Corp, the company set up to promote space tourism, tells BBC News Online why he thinks advertising is good for space.

We are at the very beginning of not only a new market but of a new way of thinking.

That the frontier of space can, and should, be open to as many consumers, as many explorers, as many of us as is possible.

The frontier of space symbolises the promise of any frontier, and for that reason advertising is a good medium for the frontier.

While we applaud the move by Esa, we question why a government organisation is engaging in commercials.

It will soon be time for them to "let go" and let the private sector undertake marketing, as is true in all other markets. But these are good first steps!

Space drama

When we did our RadioShack commercial on the International Space Station (ISS), which was the first commercial shot on the ISS and shown on American television (for last years' Father Day Holiday...and you can view it on our web site at www.mir-corp.com) people questioned whether it is "proper".

That is silly, we are in discussions with many advertising agencies wanting to be associated at a practical cost with the excitement and drama of space exploration.

What is silly is not that commercials are being done, but that more than 40 years after the first human went into space, more than 30 years after the first human walked on the surface of the Moon, we have seen this market still tightly controlled by government organisations. That has got to change.

See also:

18 Sep 02 | Science/Nature
16 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
08 Feb 98 | Science/Nature
11 Jul 00 | Europe
22 Aug 02 | Business
25 Jul 02 | Science/Nature
23 Jul 02 | Science/Nature
05 Jul 02 | Science/Nature
22 May 01 | Americas
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