Dystopian future? Billboards in SPACE could transmit advertisements to Earth, but it would require a ‘constellation’ of 50 small satellites and cost $65 million.
- One study determined that it would take a constellation of 50 small satellites and cost $65 million to beam announcements to Earth from space.
- The satellites would have large reflectors that could bounce sunlight back to Earth and rearrange it into different shapes to form logos or graphics.
- “The development of such missions has become a point of interest for some space startups because the approach provides global coverage of the Earth,” the study says.
The average person already sees up to 10,000 ads a day, but there’s one place Madison Avenue has yet to conquer: space.
A study by Russian researchers examines the technological and financial investments required to broadcast announcements to the entire Earth for a few months using a constellation of up to 50 small satellites that orbit the planet.
The researchers calculate it would cost about $65 million and require just over four dozen satellites the size of a full paper bag in what’s known as a solar-synchronous orbit, meaning they’d always be in direct sunlight as they pass. around the Earth.
Although the average person sees up to 10,000 ads a day, Madison Avenue has yet to conquer outer space.
A study by Russian researchers examines the technological and financial investments required to broadcast announcements to the entire Earth for a few months using a constellation of up to 50 small satellites that orbit the planet. ABOVE: A studio image shows a rendering of what an ad might look like from space
In orbit, they would deploy large reflectors that could bounce sunlight back to Earth. The satellites could be rearranged in different ways to form logos or simple graphics.
Those forms could evolve over their viewable time or even switch advertisers between cities.
“A long-term space advertising mission would rely on a complex satellite system that orbits the Earth and displays pixel images to observers on the ground,” said the to study published in Aerospace States magazine.
‘In this case, an advertisement appears as a constellation of bright artificial stars formed into an image that can be seen in the clear night sky for several minutes.
The researchers calculate that it would cost around $65 million and require just over four dozen satellites the size of a full paper bag in what is known as a solar-synchronous orbit. ABOVE: Maps from the study show how space ad coverage might work.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX was reportedly in talks last year with a company to use satellites to project advertisements into space from Earth.
“Developing such missions has become a point of interest for some space startups because the approach provides global coverage of the Earth and thus allows an advertisement to be displayed in high-demand regions multiple times.”
Space advertising, which has been the subject of debate and could conjure up visions of a dystopian future among the public, has been examined mostly from the perspective of specific events.
For example, the researchers mention the logos of a rocket heading into space or the delivery of branded food to the International Space Station.
The study also breaks down that net revenue from space billboards could amount to $111 million. Assuming two dozen ads are shown, that works out to $4.6 million per ad. According to ESPN, some advertisers paid $7 million per Super Bowl ad this year.
There have been other attempts at longer-term space-based advertising.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower in 1989, it was planned to deploy a chain of one hundred solar reflectors in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to form a ring of light that would have been visible around the world.
The study states that most of the cost would cover manufacturing of the satellites ($48.7 million), testing, support and engineering ($11.5 million), as well as the launch itself ($4.8 million). millions).
Whether or not space advertising becomes a reality may depend on the whims of companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has deployed thousands of satellites to bring internet connectivity to remote areas, including a maritime offering for superyachts, oil rigs and large ships, as well as in association with Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Last year it was reported that Canadian tech startup Geometric Energy Corporation was working with SpaceX to develop a satellite with a large, pixelated screen that could beam advertisements into space from the ground (instead of space ads being visible from Earth).