Instead of stars lighting up the night sky, it could soon be billboards. A Russian startup's plan to use the space to display ads has come under significant public criticism. StartRocket plans to install a giant display at an altitude of nearly 500 kilometers, reports RT. The company then intends to blast mini satellites, called cubesats, into space that would connect to form an advertisement.
"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," project leader Vladilen Sitnikov tells RT.
But while Mr Sitnikov is optimistic about the success of space billboards, researchers warn that the light pollution from these satellites could make stars much less visible. On social media too, the company's plans to use the sky as an advertising space has come under a lot of scrutiny and censure.
"Visual pollution, commercial greed climax," writes one person on SpaceRocket's Facebook page. "No person on earth wants or needs this. Use your money for something more worthwhile than ruining our skies with advertising. What an awful idea this is," says another.
Already, Pepsi has dropped its plans to advertise its products on the space billboard, reports SpaceNews.
"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."
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