I was wondering if it is legal to sell 3D prints of NASA satellites based on models that they have listed on one of their websites: https://nasa3d.arc.nasa.gov/models/printable. I don't see any notes about copyright.

Would I be infringing on copyrights or something else if I printed some of these models for commercial use? Does the fact that NASA is a gov't agency change how copyright laws apply to commercializing a potential product?

1 Answer 1


By following your link, I found this page which states:

NASA content - images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format - generally are not subject to copyright in the United States. You may use this material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.


For more information on using NASA content for commercial purposes, please read NASA Advertising Guidelines and Merchandise Guidelines

And the Merchandise Guidelines states:

Strict laws and regulations govern NASA policy regarding merchandising requests for producing NASA-related merchandise. NASA-related merchandise is any product which features NASA identifiers, emblems, devices or imagery. Companies interested in producing NASA-related merchandise must notify NASA's Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters in writing by sending e-mail to ...

  • You might want to add a caveat that not everything NASA has is actually owned by NASA - it might be owned by Lockheed, Boeing etc and thus might be subject to copyright.
    – user28517
    Jul 15, 2021 at 1:07

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