No SpaceX T-shirts for tourists at Cape Canaveral
By Ivan Couronne
Merritt Island, United States (AFP) May 27, 2020
NASA begged tourists to watch the SpaceX launch online, but space fans are still showing up in Florida. It would have been pretty good news for Brenda Mulberry -- if she'd had some SpaceX T-shirts to sell them.
"We can't sell SpaceX because they're a private company," said Mulberry, the owner of Space Shirts.
Her store is located on the main road in Merritt Island, the Florida peninsula that is home to the Kennedy Space Center where a SpaceX rocket carrying two astronauts will launch on Wednesday, the first manned US space flight in nine years.
In business since 1987, Mulberry has printed and sold T-shirts for every manned US space flight, complete with the NASA logo and photos, which are in the public domain and are not copyrighted.
For the space shuttles alone, which carried astronauts from 1981 to 2011, there were 135 missions, and so Brenda has 135 different T-shirts.
But for Wednesday's launch, she has only one souvenir shirt for people: the Crew Dragon capsule is visible below an American flag, along with the two astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, as well as the mission's NASA patch. But the SpaceX logo is nowhere to be seen.
And Mulberry has not a single SpaceX hat, keychain or poster in her store.
"I've respectfully asked permission, but I can't get it," she said.
She would have loved to add the Falcon 9 rocket to one of her best-sellers, a T-shirt emblazoned with photos of the four main rockets for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, as well as the shuttles.
But, she says, Falcon 9 belongs to SpaceX, not the American people.
- On the beaches -
Mulberry's T-shirt problem is a sign that the new space era, announced with great fanfare by NASA, won't have the same flavor as the previous one. Wednesday's launch is not the result of an entire nation's effort, but that of the genius and creativity of SpaceX founder, Elon Musk.
The unwieldy programs of the past employed thousands of small- and medium-sized space businesses -- everyone on the "space coast" knew someone involved in the Apollo missions or the shuttles.
But Musk built his rockets entirely in his own Los Angeles factory, with just a few thousand workers.
He's the one the geeks admire, seemingly more so than the two astronauts who'll be risking their lives on Wednesday.
"It's not like it was back in those days when everybody knew their original astronauts," said Rusty Fischer, a Port Canaveral icon. He owns the restaurant Rusty's, at the water's edge, with a distant view of the launch pads at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center.
He has seen every astronaut launch since Alan Shepard, the first American in space. Astronauts would hang out at his previous restaurant, Bernard's Surf.
Still, Fischer is convinced that his restaurant and the surrounding beaches will be "jammed" on Wednesday, to watch Hurley and Behnken's flight.
The long beaches used to fill with families to watch the shuttles lift off, right up until the last one in July 2011. Already, on Tuesday, there are tourists from Georgia, Indiana and San Francisco, not to mention the locals.
"The sheriff says let everybody in, and NASA says don't let anybody in, so I think the sheriff is going to win," said Fischer, amused.
("NASA has got their guidelines, and I got mine," the local sheriff said.)
As for souvenirs, the tourists can't even count on SpaceX's online store: there's still no merchandise to commemorate the company's greatest achievement.
US Space Council meets ahead of private, US crewed launch
Washington DC (VOA) May 21, 2020
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence held a meeting of the National Space Council on Tuesday, just over a week before the program is set to launch astronauts into space from American soil. The meeting was held virtually, with Pence in Washington, and NASA administrators and astronauts checking in remotely. The vice president noted that the project stayed on schedule, even amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said the May 27 launch will be an inspiration to the country. NASA astronauts are set to blas ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.