NASA doesn’t approve of NFTs that use the agency’s imagery

NFTs that appear to use NASA imagery are pretty easy to find on digital asset marketplaces.
The silhouette of US engineer and NASA astronaut Megan McArthur is seen past the NASA logo in the Webb Auditorium at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC. (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

A new NFT collection promoted by former first lady Melania Trump has reignited interest in the  National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s policy on these digital asset. The space agency isn’t exactly supportive. 

As Gizmodo first reported last week, an entity called USA Memorabilia has released a “Man on the Moon” NFT featuring an Apollo 11-era image of Buzz Aldrin on the moon. This seemingly goes against NASA’s merchandising rules and media guidelines, which say that the agency isn’t approving the use of its images in NFTs and does not want to be associated with its technology. 

Allard Beutel, a NASA spokesperson, confirmed the agency’s position on Monday.

“As a U.S. government agency, NASA makes its imagery and video publicly available for educational and information purposes,” Beutel told FedScoop. “Since Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital tokens owned by someone as a “one of a kind” digital asset, NASA does not approve use of its materials for NFTs and does not approve merchandising requests involving NFTs.”


NASA didn’t directly address the NFTs promoted by Melania Trump — or how it goes about enforcing its anti-NFT stance.

Notably, NFTs that appear to use NASA imagery are already pretty easy to find on digital asset marketplaces.

USA Memorabilia and the office of Melania Trump were contacted for comment.

Rebecca Heilweil

Written by Rebecca Heilweil

Rebecca Heilweil is an investigative reporter for FedScoop. She writes about the intersection of government, tech policy, and emerging technologies. Previously she was a reporter at Vox's tech site, Recode. She’s also written for Slate, Wired, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications. You can reach her at Message her if you’d like to chat on Signal.

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