The Atlantic

NASA's Space Probes Shouldn't Be Tacky Billboards

Apollo, Voyager, Hubble … The Dorito?
Source: NASA

The year is 2043. A skyscraper-tall rocket sits atop a launchpad. The engines ignite with a roar. The rocket lurches upward, climbing higher and higher until it leaves Earth’s atmosphere. In space, the nose of the rocket breaks open and releases its payload. It’s the most powerful space telescope in history, built by NASA to photograph Earth-like exoplanets orbiting stars like our own. The technology is so advanced that the telescope can detect shapes of oceans, clusters of vegetation, and peaks of volcanoes.

The telescope unfurls its mirrors. Its name is emblazoned in large, silvery letters across its side: the Budweiser

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readSociety
We Need a More Targeted Approach to Combatting Global Inequality
A new trove of data may allow us to replace a trickle-down approach with more precise efforts.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Trump’s New Mexico Rally Teased His 2020 Strategy
Speaking to thousands on the outskirts of Albuquerque last night, the president made a pitch to win over a voter bloc that once seemed a pipe dream.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Let Them Fight
Democratic primary voters should have a chance to evaluate how their potential standard-bearers fare against hostile criticism.