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1-min read

Billboards in Space: This Russian Startup Wants Ads to Outshine Stars in the Night Sky

Satellite reflectors use sunlight directing it towards the Earth so the cubesats satellite pixels will be turned on and off when we need while the entire display moves into the orbit showing messages or images.

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Updated:April 22, 2019, 5:38 PM IST
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Billboards in Space: This Russian Startup Wants Ads to Outshine Stars in the Night Sky
Image for representation.
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If a Russian startup has its way, advertising is headed for new heights: both literally and figuratively.

“The stars in the night sky will very soon be outshone by the glare of billboards – and in the not-too-distant future. That’s at least what Russian startup StartRocket has in mind as the company has announced plans to install a giant display at an altitude of nearly 500 kilometers,” reports Russia Today (RT).


"Satellite reflectors use sunlight directing it towards the Earth so the cubesats satellite pixels will be turned on and off when we need while the entire display moves into the orbit showing messages or images," RT quotes project leader Vladilen Sitnikov as saying. However, StartRocket’s ambitious plans have already drawn criticism from social media users and scientists alike.

“Just how preposterous can a human be?” one user asked, while another wished the company “burn in hell.”

Others termed the plan as the climax of "visual pollution, commercial greed” and “an awful idea,” urging the company to use “your money for something more worthwhile than ruining our skies with advertising. What an awful idea this is.”

Scientists were not too impressed with the idea either. “Launching art projects like this with no commercial, scientific, or national security value seems unwise,” University of Michigan astronomy professor and space debris expert Patrick Seitzer said, indicating that “space is getting increasingly crowded.”

Pepsi has already shelved plans to advertise its products on the StarRocket’s space billboard.

"We can confirm StartRocket performed an exploratory test for stratosphere advertisements using the Adrenaline GameChangers logo," a spokesperson for PepsiCo told SpaceNews. "This was a one-time event; we have no further plans to test or commercially use this technology at this time."



(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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