Glowing space billboards to show ads in night sky? ‘Cubesats’ form luminous words, logos

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Think about it. You’re gazing dreamily out of the window at night, enjoying the beauty of a starry sky, only to find Cassiopeia obscured by a McDonald’s ad offering two-for-one Big Macs in a limited-time promotion.

StartRocket, the team behind the wacky-sounding idea, believes it will have its equipment ready by 2020, with contracts offered to corporate customers soon after.

Turning the sky into an enormous canvas for satellite-generated ads would be a winner for marketers looking for new ways to reach their audience, according to Vlad Sitnikov, the fellow behind the ambitious project.

“We are ruled by brands and events,” Sitnikov told Futurism recently. “The economy is the blood system of society — entertainment and advertising are at its heart. We will live in space, and humankind will start delivering its culture to space.”

This Russian startup wants to put huge ads in space. Not everyone is on board with the idea.

The company has a prototype cubesat already, and initial tests of space-based advertising could begin early next year, StartRocket CEO Vlad Sitnikov said in an email to NBC News MACH. The company hasn’t revealed details about which rocket would deliver the satellites into orbit or how much it would charge clients to advertise.

Sitnikov said the company’s plan for space-based advertising was inspired by the “disco ball” satellite launched into orbit in January 2018 by the Huntington Beach, California-based firm Rocket Lab. The “Humanity Star” satellite, put into space as an orbiting art project, circled the planet for two months before burning up in the atmosphere as it fell back toward Earth.

Sitnikov said the boldness of the Humanity Star project led him to wonder: “What if we will invent a new media, the first media in orbit?”

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