Colonel Sanders in Space

kfc Colonel Sanders in SpaceNPR published a piece about ads that can be seen from space. It’s quite upsetting. In Rachel, Nevada there’s a patch of 65,000 red, black, white and gray tiles that assemble the face of Colonel Sanders. The image can be seen quite clearly on Google maps, so you don’t even have to be in space to see it. Great. The portrait was built in 2006. KFC bragged it was “the world’s first brand visible from outer space.”

NPR points out that’s not exactly true. In 1965, the Readymix logo was carved into the Australian desert. They call our attention to Alex and James Turnbull, who started a blog called Google Sightseeing, which is not affiliated with Google, where people send in all the wacky things they find in the satellite images of Google Maps. Some other gems include the 220-foot wide Firefox symbol in a field of oats and a 460-foot Coca-Cola logo in a desert in Chile.

But really, why make an advertisement that’s visible from space? Aside from people writing frustrated blog posts about it, what purpose could such a practice serve? It sounds like doing something just to prove one can. Or to frustrate space people about the absence of fried chicken in the great beyond.