The NASA Insignia, Logotype, identifiers, and imagery are not in the public domain. The use of the Insignia, Logotype and NASA identifiers is protected by law, and imagery is made available for use consistent with Media Usage Guidelines.
Strict legal regulations govern NASA policy regarding advertising requests.
A general overview of NASA policy follows:
As a government agency, NASA will not promote or endorse or appear to promote or endorse a commercial product, service or activity. Therefore, there are strict limits placed on the use of any of the NASA identities and emblem imagery in advertisements.
Any references to NASA in an advertisement must be factually accurate.
Many NASA images and selections of film and video footage produced and publicly released by NASA may be used for advertising purposes. However, there are rules regarding the appearance of NASA astronauts’ or NASA employees’ names, likenesses or other personality traits in advertising materials. Astronauts or employees who are currently employed by NASA cannot have their names, likenesses or other personality traits displayed in any advertisements or marketing material. Former NASA Astronauts or employees who no longer work for the U.S. Government can grant permission for the use of their names, likenesses or other personality traits in their discretion, but their former affiliation with NASA may not be used to promote any product, service or activity. For deceased astronauts or employees, their estates may retain rights in the deceased person’s name, likeness or other personality traits, so permission may still be needed. NASA may not grant the right to use names, likenesses or other personality traits on behalf of these individuals.
There are many images (moving and still) which have been made publicly available by NASA featuring astronauts in space suits where the astronaut’s face may be shielded or not easily recognizable, but where some other aspect of the photo may indicate the astronaut’s identity – like a name tag or simply the historical context of the photo. In such a case, the restrictions set forth above may still be applicable, so permission may still be necessary.
NASA does not permit use of the NASA Insignia and other NASA indicia in advertisements. Any use of the NASA identity on spacesuits or spacecraft is generally not permitted unless authorized by the Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Any images included in advertisements must follow NASA’s Images and Media Guidelines
The NASA Insignia cannot appear on websites that contain open advertising unless approved by the Associate Administrator for Communications or designee.
NASA has a long standing policy of not collaborating with promotions related to alcohol or tobacco products.
Commercials or other advertisements or marketing activities are not permitted to be shot at NASA Centers.
When all legal and policy regulations have been met and approval is obtained, the advertiser may contact the Photo Department at 202-358-1900 for information to access imagery.
Advertising and Marketing on the International Space Station
Commercials and other marketing filming/activity on the International Space Station authorized by the NASA Interim Directive (NID) on Use of International Space Station (ISS) for Commercial and Marketing Activities are additionally subject to the following guidelines:
NASA support in filming/capturing commercials or other marketing videos, which will occur behind the scenes, shall not be used to indicate or imply that NASA approves or endorses the requesting entity or its products, services, or enterprises. No commercials or promotional materials filmed on ISS may imply such approval or endorsement, nor may NASA stock images or footage be used in a way that does so.
The commercials or other marketing filming should not reference NASA support needed to create the materials, including any mention that NASA astronauts were involved in the filming.
The commercials or marketing materials filmed are not permitted to show activities that are distinguishable as NASA activities.
The commercials or other marketing materials shall not use any corporate name(s), logo(s), or trademark(s) depicted in marketing activities without permission.
The NASA Insignia may not appear with other corporate products, identifying marks, or properties.
Requests to film marketing materials on the ISS will also be approved in writing by the Multimedia Division of NASA’s Office of Communications. The Multimedia Division will receive such requests from the Johnson Space Center (JSC) after the commercial partner has developed its proposal in consultation with JSC.
Submitting an Advertising Request:
Companies interested in producing NASA-related advertisements must notify the Multimedia Division of NASA’s Office of Communications.
Requests should describe the intended use of NASA imagery in the ads.
If possible, layouts or storyboards of the advertisement should be included.
When all legal requirements have been met, NASA will send the advertiser an approval letter or email.
Requests regarding NASA related advertisements must be made in writing by sending an e-mail to Bert Ulrich.
As a government entity, NASA does not license the use of NASA materials nor sign licensing agreements. The agency generally has no objection to the reproduction and use of materials it has made available to the public (audio transmissions and recordings; video transmissions and recording; or still and motion picture photography), subject to the following conditions:
NASA material may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by NASA or by any NASA employee of a commercial product, service, or activity, or used in any manner that might mislead. Therefore, there are strict limits placed on the use of any of the NASA identities and emblem imagery in advertisements. Please see NASA Film and Documentary, Merchandising, Image and Media, and Logo & Graphics guidelines for more information.
Using terms like ‘NASA approved’ or ‘official NASA,’ or similar wording, to describe your product or association with NASA is prohibited.
It is unlawful to falsely claim copyright or other rights in NASA material.
NASA shall in no way be liable for any costs, expenses, claims, or demands arising out of the use of NASA material by a recipient or a recipient’s distributees.
NASA does not indemnify nor hold harmless users of NASA material, nor release such users from copyright infringement, nor grant exclusive use rights with respect to NASA material.
If copyright is indicated on any NASA materials, permission should be obtained from the indicated copyright owner prior to use. Subject to any such copyright indications, and subject to compliance with these guidelines, NASA material may be reproduced and distributed without further permission from NASA.
If a recognizable former or Non-NASA person (e.g., a former astronaut or non-NASA talent) appears in NASA content, use of this content for commercial or promotional purposes may infringe on the person’s right of privacy or publicity. Permission should be obtained from the recognizable person in those instances.
Some NASA audiovisual material may incorporate music or footage, which is copyrighted and licensed for the particular NASA work. Any further use by a third party of such material would require permission of the copyright owner.
NASA audiovisual material may include visible NASA identifiers (e.g., the name of the vehicle and the NASA Insignia or Logotype in photographs or film footage of ground vehicles, aircraft or spacecraft). Use of such materials is generally non-objectionable, provided the NASA identifiers appear in their factual context.
Linking to NASA Websites
NASA Web sites may be linked to from other websites, including individuals’ personal websites, without explicit permission from NASA. However, such links may not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA’s endorsement of commercial goods or services. NASA images may be used as graphic “hot links” to NASA websites, provided they are used within the guidelines above. This permission does not extend to use of the NASA Insignia, the NASA Logotype or the NASA Seal. NASA should be acknowledged as the source of the material.
NASA Contractors and Partners
The NASA Insignia, Logotype and Seal should not be used as branding devices, or used in or for advertising, trade dress, promotions, or similar marketing purposes, on third-party websites or communications material.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
As a U.S. government agency, NASA makes its imagery and video publicly available for educational and information purposes, however, since Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are, in essence, digital tokens owned by someone as a “one of a kind” digital asset, NASA doesn’t wish for its materials to be used for these purposes. The agency also doesn’t approve any merchandising applications involving NFTs, and it’s unlawful to falsely claim copyright or other rights in NASA materials.