A logo of Pizza Hut is posted on the Proton rocket carrying the Zvezda service module, at the launch pad at Baikonur in Kazakhstan, 08 July 2000. The launch of Zvezda, service module of the International Space Station (ISS), is scheduled on 12 July 2000. The posting of Pizza Hut logo is expected to commercialize space and attract TV viewers. Photo by Yuri Kochetkov - Copyright AFP 2000
The Proton-K rocket is scheduled to launch on Wednesday a Russian service module to dock with the 16-nation International Space Station (ISS), the Russian space agency said.
The advertising stunt is costing Pizza Hut one million dollars, the Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported.
The 320-million dollar Zvezda service module will provide the living and working quarters for ISS crews.
The module was already atop the launcher which was scheduled to be moved Saturday to the launching pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan.
The international space station, a project which involves 16 countries including the US, Canada, Japan and Russia, will be a 100-metre (yard) long complex of more than 100 components weighing more than 450 tonnes.
The ISS currently comprises two modules -- the US-built Unity and the Russian module Zarya.
Pizza Hut is already well known to Russians. The restaurant it opened on Moscow's Gorky Street in the early days of Russia's new free market economy was a wild success.
A Russian space agency spokesman refused to confirm the million-dollar Pizza Hut figure but said the sum raised would be used to develop the Khrunichev Space Construction centre, which built the launcher.
But Kommersant reported that only 150,000 dollars would go to the Khrunichev centre, with the rest going to the Russian advertising company Planeta Zemlya (Planet Earth) and two US companies, Space Marketing Inc and Globus Space, which developed the public relations campaign.
The departure of the first US-Russian crew to live on the International Space Station is scheduled for October 30. US Commander William Shepherd and Russians Yury Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalyov will blast off on the Russian space craft Soyuz.
Copyright 2000 AFP. All rights reserved. The material on this page is provided by AFP and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
RAKA Sues Pizza Hut
As Logo Deal Goes Sour
by Yuri Cherkasov
Moscow - May 31, 2000 - The Space Marketing Centre (SMC), which was specifically established by the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (RAKA) on January 28, 1998 for both space advertising and marketing activities including those for all the Russian segments of the International Space Station is to file suit in a Moscow court against Pizza Hut, Inc. for improper use of SMC-RAKA's name and reputation.