A new space firm has announced it is to sell space advertising.
Space Advertising To Become A Reality
Secretive satellite start-up, Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) has announced plans to take the concept of space art into reality and sell advertising in space.
A cubesat displaying custom advertisements will be released from a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket as part of the GEC’s Rideshare Program.
It is all possible because of advances in micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS) technology which has made it feasible to manufacture within the confines of the CubeSat design.
CubeSats are named for their cubic shape and were originally designed as a way to expand access in building and operating payloads suitable for space missions.
However, in recent years they have become attractive for use by other commercial and government entities as they can be launched relatively cheaply and run autonomously.
Small satellite technology is advancing rapidly, making it possible for companies like GEC to produce their own CubeSats containing small billboards in space.
The price of an advertisement will be determined by the market value of cryptocurrency tokens that can be converted to the rights to control pixels on the cubesat. Larger or longer-lasting adverts will require a greater token purchase.
An ad on a billboard in a major city could cost around £500 000 ($923 000). To get your ad in Tokyo, for example, would cost around £540 000 ($974 000) for a month. This is similar to what advertisers pay for sports events such as the Superbowl or Formula One Grand Prix, and space advertising livestreamed to Earth may be more sough-after still. Given the size restrictions of a cubesat, token holders will be looking to place a premium on translating their holdings to pixels.
CubeSat Art Space Billboard To Launch Next Year
The first CubeSat art space billboard is set to be launched next year and GEC is working with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) - the space industry's hottest name which was founded by entrepreneur and engineer Elon Musk.
GEC have teamed up with robot-building company Pointblank LLC, who have been testing epaper performance in low-to-no atmosphere environments in relation to the project. The resultant images will be tracked in the course through low Earth orbit or to the Moon, with the images livestreamed back to Earth. GEC are also working on quantum communication systems to enable instantaneous information transfer over large distances.
There are long waiting lists for CubeSats but GEC has managed to get its satellite on a rocket scheduled for launch next year, which will put it about 779 km from earth.
It is not known where exactly in orbit it will be.
SpaceX is currently only taking small payloads as the launch vehicle has had some problems in testing and they don't want to send up anything that could potentially cause a big problem for which they would not be insured.
In 2008, SpaceX launched its first two rockets and both failed to put anything into orbit. The third rocket was successful but they weren't able to recover it from the ocean so they were unable to see if it had been a success or not.
It wasn't until its fourth attempt, in September 2008, that SpaceX was able to put an object into orbit.
After several more test flights, SpaceX became the first private company to send a cargo vessel to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2012. The GEC Orbital Reflector CubeSat is small enough for their standard launch platform, which is where they place most of their satellites.
The billboard will be rotated slowly and it's estimated that one revolution will take around 1.5 hours, giving time for all 24 lines to be shown.