Stephen Colbert has once again called out U.S. President Donald J. Trump for wanting to use NASA's future space missions for advertising.
Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun At NASA, Trump
In his opening monologue, the late-night television host, who is a staunch critic of Trump, discussed the plan of the government to sell naming rights to private corporations and allow astronauts to appear in commercials.
"As a businessman, Trump is known for selling things: steaks, apartments, his soul," he joked. "Well, now he's extended that philosophy to space."
He is, of course, referring to the recent news that Jim Bridenstine, the space agency's chief, wanted to raise money for future projects by allowing astronauts to endorse products such as cereals. After all, going to space is not cheap, as sending astronauts to the International Space Station alone costs millions of dollars. With plans to launch a moon outpost and then send humans to the surface of Mars, NASA would need a lot of money.
However, if the proposal becomes a reality, it would a rather significant shift for the space agency that has, until then, been solely about science. Unlike its Russian counterparts, NASA has made efforts not to promote any brand or engage in commercial activities.
The commercialization of NASA and future project have already received criticism from the public that Colbert discussed on television on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
During the monologue, the television host and comedian pointed out how different it would have been if the moon landing in the 60s if it was, for example, sponsored by Dr. Scholl's insoles. He was also a little surprised to find out that the Trix rabbit was not an astronaut after all.
The 54-year-old also joked that in the future, renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will also be appearing on boxes of Anytizers' Popcorn Chicken. Watch the clip below.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Talks Space Force
During the episode, Colbert also discussed Trump's Space Force with Tyson. The astrophysicist, author, and television host defended the proposal, saying that it was not exactly a bad idea.
"Just because it came out of Trump's mouth, doesn't require that it then be a crazy thing," Tyson said.
However, he discussed that a Space Force already exists and it is called the United States Space Command, which is under the jurisdiction of the military. He argued that the Air Force already has space-bound missions such as launching satellites into orbit
In August, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence revealed plans to create a new branch of the military that would protect the country and the world from "rising security threats" today and in the future. If approved, the U.S. Space Force might start operation by 2020.