NASA says no to in-house or third-party NFTs

By Raffaele Redi

The US space agency has no intention at present to develop its own NFTs or endorse those by third parties

The Kennedy memorial next to the Nasa globe at the Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida                                 
Space agency NASA claims no copyright for its images in the US although it regulates merchandising applications – Photo: Shutterstock

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has rejected the possibility of developing its own NFTs.

The agency also announced that it would not approve any NFT made from its archive by a third-party. 

This followed the news that a one-off watch featuring its logo was sold with a companion NFT on the Rarible marketplace for 0.43 ETH ($1,026).

“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,” stated the US space agency.

As well as clearly stating that it is not interested in launching NFTs, NASA outlined its stance on third parties: “Further, as stated in the NASA Media Usage Guidelines, NASA does not wish for its images to be used in connection with NFTs,” said the agency.

The agency generally allows the use of its logo for merchandising purposes on clothes. However, images from the NASA archive, on which the agency claims no copyright in the US, can mainly be used for educational purposes.

Other aerospace organisations such as the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency have not yet hinted whether they plan to develop NFTs – and in the sector generally, the acronym is already in use to mean natural feature tracking. 

NFT from space

While enthusiasts looking for NASA NFTs may have to settle for tokens that recall images of NASA branded gadgets or clothes, or utility NFTs, such as the NASA space watch, private companies are exploring other ways to use NFT technology in space.

Global cybersecurity firm WiseKey announced that the mint of the first NFT from space would take place in February 2022, after the successful launch of its satellites during the SpaceX transporter’s third mission earlier in January.

The NFT, generated on the satellite, will be the first NFT art piece ever created in space, with the company having secured the minting method through a patent.

The company said it aims to create NFTs which are “away from hackers’ reach and easily identifiable”.

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