We're bombarded by advertisements these days. Whether it's TV commercials, billboards, or ads on social media platforms, they are unavoidable. Now a Russian start up wants to make them even more unavoidable.
StartRocket is looking into creating clusters of satellites. Each one would reflect light from the sun and act like a gigantic pixel to allow advertisers to beam messages down to Earth.
The StarRocket website says...
"Space has to be beautiful. With the best brands our sky will amaze us every night."
The CEO of StarRocket, Vlad Sitnikov, developed the idea with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow. They aim to have the technology ready by next year.
A video of what the 'orbital display' may look like was uploaded to Vimeo by Sitnikov.
However, what remains unclear is how the project will be funded, and how it will work in practice. Additionally, since these ads would be viewed by billions of people across hundreds of countries, it is also unclear how this would be handled legally.
Astronomer Patrick Seitzer from the University of Michigan also pointed out this potential issue.
"Active propulsion will be necessary. The large Mylar sails will be effective as drag sails, and thus the CubeSats will decay from orbit in a short time. Thus, one has to constantly replenish the constellation."
He went on to explain that the advertisements would only work when the giant pixels are able to reflect light from the sun and those back on earth are in darkness. Otherwise, they will be invisible. StarRocket claims it has solutions to both of these issues.
People weren't in love with the idea.
@evankirstel What is it with these dumb projects trying to put more junk into space? Isn't the night sky great enough as it is?— Brendan Wilby (@Brendan Wilby)1547668875.0
@evankirstel Bad idea. More pollution problems.— Sihegee USA / Social (@Sihegee USA / Social)1547669887.0
@evankirstel No. Leave our ski view alone. I will join a civil suit if they start this. Is there nothing sacred?— Garry (@Garry)1547738204.0
@evankirstel As if there isn't enough space junk already.— Chris Hills (@Chris Hills)1547714982.0
Though some were intrigued.
@evankirstel This idea is not out of the box, it’s out of this world. Brilliant. Marketing is how Wilde u can go w… https://t.co/sj4E6kq5Bc— Alhamedi (@Alhamedi)1547726805.0
@evankirstel Either way you think about it (invasion of privacy, etc etc) its still an amazing idea— Russell 🚀 Blakemore (@Russell 🚀 Blakemore)1547728821.0
And many saw how inevitable it is no matter what the public has to say about it.
@nowthisnews https://t.co/T8XFAslqyA— Vester Banner III 🐺 (@Vester Banner III 🐺)1547714021.0
@nowthisnews Great, now I won’t be able to look at the sky without seeing some dumbass ad first— Fanor Sanchez (@Fanor Sanchez)1547711849.0
@nowthisnews More like human nature to pollute and destroy the only planet we live on. If that's not enough, you no… https://t.co/4ZLnPIbZnR— Rakesh (@Rakesh)1547711308.0
Unfortunately, space advertising is probably only a matter of time.