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  • Writer's pictureMichael Bacina

NASA: No NFTs right now, please

Updated: May 3

Shattering the dreams of astronaut cat artists around the world, NASA has updated their media usage guidelines to request that their imagery not be used or represented in NFTs.

NASA has an extensive and impressive galleries and videos of digital imagery, many of which easily become hot collectibles. However, for now, NASA doesn't plan to launch into the NFT space, saying:

NASA makes its imagery and video available for educational and information purposes in accordance with these guidelines. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are, in essence, digital tokens owned by someone as a "one of a kind" digital asset. NASA does not wish for its images to be used for these purposes.

NASA has long had a careful approval process before becoming involved in film or other commercial deals, but in recent years have considered sponsorship branding of rockets and other launch vehicles (which thankfully didn't go ahead - I'm not sure anyone wants to hear "3-2-1, and the launch of the General Insurance Rocket is a success... you too can be a success and save money with General Insurance"). NASA branded merchandising for individuals however is hot property with official shirts and other merchandise available. But when it comes to NFTs:

NASA is not approving any merchandising applications involving Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), as they are not consistent with the categories of products the Agency is approved to merchandise

Despite this position, others have been offering up Space themed NFTs for collectors, but sadly there won't be an official NASA NFTs in the foreseeable future. This might be a good thing in some ways, as NASA isn't supposed to be engaging in profit making enterprise, and their mission of education and disseminating space knowledge widely might be seen to be contrary to the unique ownership of NFTs (but this would easily be able to be managed by appropriate licensing).


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