NASA, the LDSD, and Missed Marketing Opportunities?

Looks like NASA is testing out flying saucers now. Check it out online HERE and you can actually see some video. It’s a cool idea for the future of space exploration, but it’s the name that bothers me. NASA calls it the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator or LDSD.


What a stupid name!

Come on NASA! In this age of shrinking Federal budgets and a defunct fleet of space shuttles, you could have really done something with the name here. Naming is the inexpensive part of the process, that just consumes time, and sometimes lots of coffee. It’s the kind of thing that I assemble our think tank for, to sit and brainstorm names over soda and pizza.

The name sounds like something that some goofy scientist with no people skills thought up. The acronym sounds like a sexually transmitted disease.

“Yeah, I’ve got a bad case of LDSD but penicillin will fix it.”

Pay attention to this next part, because it might help you with your business.

Here’s a few ideas of what NASA should have done, even with an experimental craft, to bolster good PR and augment the budget for the future…

  • Give the ship a name that works into a cool acronym. Think about some famous ones you’ve seen over the years- FUBAR (military), ARGUS (DC Comics), and SHIELD (Marvel Comics). I wouldn’t even call NASA a good one. It’s just that it’s recognizable from decades of use.
  • Give it a name that invokes personality. With personality, NASA can market to kids with toys, cartoons, and more. Think about the Cars and Planes movies.
  • Sell t-shirts. Style ideas are innumerable. Just Google search “Millennium Falcon t-shirts” and look at what pops up.
  • This ship looks like a flying saucer. Play with that angle and use it for marketing.

Regardless of being a Federal agency, NASA should start behaving more like a business. This is a failed opportunity that could still be recovered. General Bolden…call me, and I’ll be glad to help.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at Thanks for reading!


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