As a way to promote "out of this world" gifts for Fatherís Day, RadioShack enlisted the help of Russian cosmonauts to film footage on the International Space Station that will be used for a new RadioShack commercial to begin airing on May 27.
The national television spot will show Talgat Musabayev and Yuri Baturin presenting station commander Yuri Usachev with a surprise Fatherís Day gift from his 12-year-old daughter, Evgenia. The gift was a "talking picture frame" from RadioShack. Evgenia personalized the gift with a recent photo and a 10-second voice greeting for her dad.
Evgenia recorded her greeting at her parentsí apartment in Korolev, Russia: "Hey dad, we are wishing you good fortune and success in your job, and good relationships with the crew."
"We felt the first commercial filmed on the International Space Station was an extraordinary way to showcase this cool travelerís gift as an ideal Fatherís Day present. Itís all about helping people stay connected, wherever your travels may take you," said Jim McDonald, senior vice president of marketing and advertising for RadioShack Corporation.
The Soyuz flight that lifted off April 28 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, was the last mission carrying a crew to the space station before Fatherís Day on June 17. Musabayev and Baturin also carried up a talking picture frame for U.S. astronaut James Voss, the other dad on the Expedition Two crew.
During their days on the International Space Station, Musabayev and Baturin served as cameramen for footage that RadioShackís advertising agency, Circle R, used to create the 30-second Fatherís Day television spots. To keep the authentic look of the raw footage, the creative staff did minor editing to create the finished piece. The spot will air for the first time on ESPNís Sunday Night Baseball on May 27.
Each talking picture frame is a pocket-sized black square that opens like a book to reveal a photograph on one side and a microphone and speaker on the other. The frame records a message up to 10 seconds in length with the simple press of a button.
The frames underwent extensive safety analyses and vacuum chamber tests before being certified for flight. The tests confirmed the picture frames werenít an electrical hazard and would not give off any dangerous fumes in the recycled atmosphere of the space station. The presentation to Usachev was filmed at 6:10 p.m. Moscow time May 2.
A photo of Evgenia Usachev and her recorded greeting is available at www.lunacorp.com
LunaCorp of Fairfax, VA, and Herring Media Group of Sausalito, CA, set up the picture frame project for RadioShack by collaborating with MirCorp of the Netherlands. The companies jointly earned the approvals required from Rosviakosmos (the Russian space agency) and RSC Energia, which is the Russian company that builds the Soyuz vehicles.
RadioShack also is working to enhance the music options of the space station by delivering some of the MP3 players the retailer sells. LunaCorp and RadioShack plan to work with NASA and Rosviakosmos over the next few months to ensure that the MP3 players are "space qualified" -- able to fly to the International Space Station without posing any danger to the crew or environment.
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RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) is the nation's largest and most trusted consumer electronics retailer and offers both on- and off-line shopping convenience. With more than 7,200 stores and dealers, RadioShack sells more wireless telephones, telecommunications products and electronics parts and accessories than any other retailer. Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin is RadioShackís space ambassador. For more information, visit the RadioShack corporate Web site at www.radioshackcorporation.com.
LunaCorp is developing a series of space initiatives including landing a remotely controlled high-bandwidth robot on the Moon in late 2003. RadioShack became the Moon robotís first corporate sponsor last year. A prototype planetary robot, built by LunaCorpís technical partners at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, will carry out field trials this July in the Canadian Arctic at Houghton Crater. For more information, contact LunaCorp President David Gump at 703-207-4500 or visit the Web site: www.lunacorp.com.
David Gump, President