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To the Moon, Donald!

Trump web ad features spaceships, astronauts

The imagery in some Trump ads are curious, given that he's barely talked about the space program. (Donald J. Trump for President)
The imagery in some Trump ads are curious, given that he's barely talked about the space program. (Donald J. Trump for President)

A new batch of Trump campaign advertisements featuring astronauts and spaceship launches has attracted attention from an advertising industry publication, which pointed out that Trump has never mentioned any substantial plans for the U.S. space program.  

The internet advertisements juxtapose portraits of Trump peering into the distance with the poorly blended NASA images and the slogan, “Aspire to greatness.” They first appeared in July, shortly after the Trump campaign reportedly launched a massive increase in online ad spending.  

The space shuttle last launched in 2011.  

The Trump campaign spent $1.63 million on digital ads and consulting in June, four times as much as Hillary Clinton and almost double what it has spent the previous month, the advertising publication AdAge reported. The Trump campaign also spent $29,000 on Facebook advertising that month, which it purchased directly.  

The intergalactic ads, featuring a “donate” button, were among a batch of new online display ads that started appearing soon afterward. But while some of the new Trump spots adopt language from the campaign, the outer-space imagery was noted as a “curious” choice this week in a separate AdAge article .  

One of the ads shows an astronaut in full space gear, with what looks like the cargo bay of his spaceship reflected in the bubble of his helmet. The other shows a space shuttle launch. They both feature Trump in a white “Make America Great Again” baseball hat and a concentrated, inscrutable frown.  

The article noted that the release of the space ads corresponded with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. It poked fun at the crude design and it pointed out that Trump has said little about the space program during his campaign, aside from exclamations like one in a recent Reddit interview that, “It’s wonderful!”  

“But why space?,” the AdAge article asked. “The candidate’s use of intergalactic imagery and recent hat-tips to NASA seem intended to loosely associate him with the elevated goals of U.S. space exploration, rather than any concrete promises about its future funding.”  

One Redditor who noticed the ad had a less charitable interpretation.  

“I will donate,” a user identified as Philosopherslegacy posted. “(this is a fund to launch Don into space, right)”

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