34 thoughts on “This Space For Rent: Advertisements In Orbit

  1. Years ago, some comedian on late night TV said…
    “Neal Armstrong could have set himself up for life, if his first words on The Moon, were “Coca Cola!” “

    1. Amateur astronomy gets plenty of negative help from right here at ground level on our home planet. The Northeastern University Astronomy Club had an evening of public viewing scheduled a few decades ago, at their deliciously dark suburban campus in Burlington, Mass. Viewing had just started when the evening crew of NU Buildings and Grounds noticed that there were people out there who had not requested the lights be turned on. So he turned on the lights.

      I forget whether we waited half an hour to get dark-adapted again, or instead just all went home. I think it was some of each.

    2. You would have liked what Heinlein used in the story: “The man who sold the moon”. The main character asked a competitor of a soda firm to fund his rocket, so there would not be a “6+” written on the moon. [copyright concern about referencing 7up in the story].

    1. Pepsi was in USSR before it managed to fall apart… they even received a flotilla of several submarines and surface ships, the biggest being cruiser (they were sold for scrap) as payment, since the Rubl was useless outside USSR.
      The peak of this this exchange was a $3 Billion deal, Pepsi in USSR, Stolichnaja Vodka in US. And mind you, that was $3B in 1990.

      It’s still their 2nd biggest market outside US.

  2. Grrrr

    Two questions.

    1) At what altitude will such advertisements be likely to orbit.

    2) What does it take to get something to that altitude. I’m not asking about getting to orbit at that altitude. A ballistic trajectory would be just fine.

    I’m only wondering, you know… curiosity. That’s all.

    1. One of these… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-161_Standard_Missile_3
      You also need something equipped with the Aegis BMD system to guide it, the Aegis Ashore is probably the cheapest option (there’s one in Romania…)
      btw not sure if it’s possible to launch the missile without a vertical silo.

      Or since you’re dealing with a whimpy space-billboard made of mylar, directed energy…solutions…would be a good option.
      It wouldn’t be cheap, but you could build that out of commercially available parts, nowadays you can just buy 10+kW fiber lasers. “All” that’s needed is the output optics (modified cassegrain telescope?) and a tracking system (ditto telescope?)

  3. You’d think the fact that this sort of thing appears in practically every sci-fi dystopia written in the last 50 years would be a clue that it’s a bad thing.

    1. Corporatopia. Seems we humans require some kind of master, since we’ve killed off the original, then it has to be a government of some kind, or corporations. Maybe charities can run things for awhile?

  4. You wouldn’t need a 1km mylar sheet, you could so it with an LED bar on something in LEO. The ISS seems almost perfect for rastering messages across the night sky.
    I wonder if Adafruit have enough Neopixels for this plan?

  5. My Idea:

    Deploy a fleet rovers to the near side of the moon.

    Each rover has extended petals.
    On one side is the solar array, the other side is a high power LED array.

    Each rover acts as single pixel.

    Have the fleet move to the desired logo locations during lunar day.

    Flip the solar arrays over, and power the LED arrays for 24 hours during “New Moon”.

    Display a new ad every 29.5 days.

    Profit! :D

    1. The difference is that they needed certain types of equipment that couldn’t be government made. It just worked out that those were the best made items for the mission. Plastering McDonald’s ad’s all over everything or taking cans of coca cola into space isn’t something that is necessary to the mission and until we have a decent part of the human population making regular trips to space, advertising there should be off limits to keep astronauts from getting distracted. They are literally laying the crucial ground work and these grubby companies are trying to poison us before we are even well established as a species in space. Big corporations do some good sometimes but this is not their place.

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