Trump campaign pulls ad about SpaceX launch after astronaut’s wife calls it propaganda

The Trump campaign took down a video late Thursday trumpeting NASA’s return to human spaceflight after harsh criticism that it was politicizing the event and violating NASA advertising rules.

The video featured President Trump watching last week’s launch from the Kennedy Space Center along with the slogan ‘‘Make Space Great Again’’ and historic footage from the Apollo era.

On Twitter, Karen Nyberg, a former astronaut and wife of Doug Hurley, who was carried to the International Space Station by the SpaceX launch, blasted the advertisement, saying she found ‘‘it disturbing that a video image of me and my son is being used in political propaganda without my knowledge or consent. That is wrong.’’


Hurley and Bob Behnken were the first American astronauts to be blasted into orbit from American soil since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011.

The event was watched by millions and provided a moment of inspiration amid protests over George Floyd’s death and the fear of the global pandemic.

But the ad was quickly attacked as using an event of engineering and science for political gain.

But Internet posts are hard to delete forever; the ad surfaced on another YouTube page.

The ad also runs against NASA regulations that prohibit the agency from endorsing ‘‘a commercial product, service, or activity.’’

An online petition urging the campaign to remove the ad had more than 7,000 signatures by Friday.

Washington Post