I can remember reading a sci fi story where a rocket package was placed on the moon and when detonated sent the explosion of glitter fragments into the lunar atmosphere. And because of the lack of wind maintained its pattern ..and a matrix was placed inside the canister which would allow the glitter through in a certain pattern .... which when the sun illuminated the glitter revealed a Coca Cola sign which would be there for months.

Can't remember who wrote or the anthology.

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    I recall a similar story which I believe was distinct from the Heinlein story already in the answers. In the story I recall there was a scientific test intended to study the (thin) atmosphere of the moon which cast some sort of chemical into it that would be visible from Earth. A technician was found to have replaced part with a custom-made one that spread it in the shape of the Coca-Cola logo. Does that sound familiar? – Jeff Jan 27 '18 at 4:06
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    There was indeed such a story. Towards the there was a comment to the effect that the captain of the space (once an avid Coke drinker) had stopped drinking the stuff in embarassment over the incident. I read it so long ago that I have no idea even where I read it. – JRE Jan 27 '18 at 8:20
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    If the question has been answered to your satisfaction, please "accept" the answer of your choice, by clicking on the check mark next to it. – user14111 Jan 27 '18 at 8:26
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    Reminds me of the old joke where the soviets paint the moon red, and the Americans write Coca Cola on it. – CodesInChaos Jan 27 '18 at 10:00
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    Also in the line of Asimov's "Buy Jupiter" where Aliens buy Jupiter to use it as a gigantic billboard but forget that Terrans can sell much more photogenic Saturn to the next comer at an even better price. (kudos to whoever took the time to write up a précis at Jimbo's Emporium of Trivia) – David Tonhofer Jan 27 '18 at 17:12

This is not Heinlein. It is Clarke.

This is Arthur C. Clarke's "Watch This Space", first published on 1956-05-28 as part of the series Venture to the Moon in the Evening Standard. Venture to the Moon was collected into The Other Side of the Sky in 1958.

Reaching up to the letter C on my bookshelf …

Captain Vandenburg was the one who suffered most. Before he came to the moon he was a confirmed teetotaler, and much of his refreshment came from a certain wasp-waisted bottle. But now, as a matter of principle, he can only drink beer — and he hates the stuff.
  • Available at the Internet Archive. – user14111 Jan 27 '18 at 8:23
  • This is it. The Heinlein story is good (and similar,) but it doesn't really match the question. – JRE Jan 27 '18 at 8:37
  • My bookshelf was easier. (-: – JdeBP Jan 27 '18 at 8:37
  • "The other side of the Sky" is probably where I read it. My father had a copy that I read many times as a kid. – JRE Jan 27 '18 at 8:41
  • "My bookshelf was easier." Mine too, but I figured the person who asked the question probably doesn't have the story on his bookshelf. – user14111 Jan 27 '18 at 9:14

That sounds like part of "The Man Who Sold The Moon" - a novella by Robert A. Heinlein

This is all from memory, it's been a long time since I read the story:

There's a scene where D.D. Harriman (the title character) is looking into possible sponsorships for the first moon flight, and he visits the head of "Moka-Cola" while wearing a button for the cola's main competitor, which is a product called "6+" Harriman explains that he's been approached by 6+ to do a lunar advertisement using rockets to kick up dust in the pattern of 6+ on the face of the moon. Harriman gets the head of the cola company to sponsor the flight in return for Harriman not going along with the 6+ idea.


"The Man Who Sold the Moon" by Robert A. Heinlein, published in the anthology of the same name, and part of the "future history" series. Delos D. Harriman plays several potential patrons off of each other to fund a trip to the moon, one of which is the "Moka Cola" company. He gets funding from them by suggesting that if they don't, their rival "6+" will pay for him to print their logo on the moon using carbon black.

In the end, as far as I recall, no one's logo actually ends up on the moon, however; the idea is just suggested (and used as a threat).

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    On the other hand, I believe it is mentioned in passing that when the moon landing actually happens, the pilot uses carbon black to cover several acres of Lunar rock with a big black spot which makes it very easy for observatories with huge telescopes to see where the ship must have landed. (The spot was apparently just a huge black circle, however; not in the shape of anybody's corporate logo or other prominent symbol.) – Lorendiac Jan 27 '18 at 4:05

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