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Stellar marketing: Musk sends advertising into orbit

Secretive satellite start-up, Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC), and SpaceX, have announced plans to sell advertising in space.

The Dragon spacecraft is capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond. — Image Courtesy © SPACEX
The Dragon spacecraft is capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond. — Image Courtesy © SPACEX

A new concept of space advertising is proposed on Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9. Musk appears to be seeking to capture the premium market, with bigger publicity (and higher rates) than other advertising hotspots via sporting events like the U.S. Superbowl and the global Formula One Grand Prix.

Digital Journal has previously reported on how Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) has announced plans to take the concept of space art into reality. This concept is set to be expanded to wider advertising in general by sell advertising in space.

READ MORE: First blockchain adventure in space courtesy of SpaceX

The idea is using the satellite CubeSat, which will be configured to display custom advertisements. The satellite will be released from a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket as part of the GEC’s Rideshare Program.

The advertising concept comes about following advances in micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. This has enabled developers to configure digital technology with the confines of the CubeSat design.

This concept is not a one-off as a range of start-up companies are investing in ‘space advertising’, either beaming adverts to Earth or preparing for opportunities on spacecraft or future lunar or Martian bases.

CubeSats have become an attractive solution for use by commercial entities since they can be launched relatively cheaply and run autonomously. Furthermore, scale satellite technology has progressed so that companies like GEC can begin to produce their own CubeSats containing small billboards in space.

The cost of an advertisement will be based on the market value of cryptocurrency tokens. The idea is that that the tokens will be converted to the rights to control pixels on the satellite. It follows that larger or longer-lasting adverts will require cost more in the form of tokens.

The generated digital images from the satellite (positioned around 779 kilometres from Earth)will be tracked through low Earth orbit or to the Moon, and then the images will be livestreamed back to Earth.

The digital billboard will be rotated slowly with one revolution lasting about 1.5 hours, providing time for all 24 lines to be shown.

Based on current token values, the costs will be equivalent to buying space on a billboard in a major city.

The first CubeSat space- billboard is down to be launched in 2022, with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) being the vehicle for getting each satellite into space. SpaceX became the first private company to send a cargo vessel to the International Space Station (ISS) and the company has embarked upon a successful series of commercial satellite launches.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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