Advertising is following us everywhere: in newspapers, on the streets, on TV, on the Internet and even inside virtual reality. It seems that very soon we will see advertisements even in the night sky - this is the technology that the Russian company StartRocket intends to launch. She wants to deploy satellites with reflective sails, from which advertising slogans will be compiled, in near-earth orbit. It is not difficult to guess that there were a lot of opponents of such an idea in the world, and astronomers are most outraged.
Orbital advertising is planned to expand onat an altitude of 400-500 kilometers - each retroreflective satellite with a diameter of 10 meters will play the role of a pixel that makes up a text or a picture. Since the brightness of an image of 50 square kilometers will directly depend on the sun, advertising will be visible only at dawn and dusk - the company intends to show 2-4 ads per day. Advertising, which will be seen by millions of people, will cost truly space money - 600 thousand dollars for one show.
The satellites will shine about the same asMoon. Astronomers fear that this will prevent them from conducting research using ground-based telescopes. For example, astronomer John Barentin shared his concerns:
Each of these moving highlights in the night sky is something that may prevent us from collecting photons from astronomical sources.
If space ads take root, scientistswill be forced to use orbital satellites. There will be too many of them, which will greatly increase the risk of their collision. Subsequently, there will be more space debris in Earth orbit, which is already so numerous that scientists from China are proposing to destroy it with lasers.
Commentary founder StartRocket
Editorial Hi-News contacted the founder of a startupVladilen Sitnikov and learned how he treats criticism from astronomers. He is confident that they will not interfere with research, and cited several arguments. First, the orbital advertising will be shown for 6 minutes - during this time, astronomers will be able to relax and drink coffee. Secondly, research is usually carried out in remote areas, while satellites will be located only over populous cities. Thirdly, observations are made over certain parts of the sky, and the probability that there will be advertising is extremely small. In any case, the company will be able to remotely close the reflectors when complaints are received.
Observations occur in remote areasthe probability that we will be above the observatory is insignificant - there are no people, there is no one to show our messages. We are attached only to large settlements, where astronomers do not work.
The entrepreneur also recalled about the project Ilona Mask on the creation of satellite Internet Starlink, which involves the launch of 12,000 low-cost satellites:
Thousands of SpaceX satellites to create a new telecom operator - do not bother astronomers?
It is noteworthy that StartRocket is not the firsta startup intending to leave unusual devices in orbit. In October 2018, researchers from China offered to send an artificial moon into space, which will illuminate the streets of Chengdu at night. It is believed that such a satellite will reduce the cost of electricity. The technology is planned to be tested in 2020.
As for StartRocket, it has no investors yet and the company is looking for them. In October, she intends to create and prepare satellites for a test launch in January 2021.
You probably have something to say about space advertising - share your opinion in the comments or in our Telegram-chat, where new participants are always welcome!