Few days ago a Russian startup unveiled its plans to put up giant space billboard advertisements in sky through satellites. Now, scientists have recently spoken up about the idea, claiming it to ‘harmful’.
Russian startup named StartRocket wishes to launch up gigantic orbiting space billboards in the night sky to advertise people through a collection of cubesats. Experts are not really fond of the idea and expressed their concerns over the plan.
Launching art projects like this with no commercial, scientific, or national security value seems unwise. Space is getting increasingly crowded. There are over 20,000 objects with orbits. Less than 10% of those objects are active satellites the rest are dead satellites, old rocket bodies and parts of spacecraft.
Another aerospace engineer John Crassisdis saying that this method is ‘not serving any good purpose outside of advertising’, further adding that he wasn’t a fan of this idea and also warning that the object is going to become ‘space junk’.
Astronomer John Barentine too regarded the space billboard as a source of light pollution and space debris that can possibly disrupt radio signals, claiming it to be a ‘threat to the ability to do astronomical research from the ground’.
Space law expert Joanne Gabrynowicz too commented saying, “Scientists will argue that this reflected light interferes with the ability to study the skies. And if it interferes with science, that is harmful.”
Moreover, StartRocket published a concept video of its plan, which it claims to go up and running by 2021. The firm claims that the ads will be visible at night time and can be seen from about anywhere on Earth. The billboards are planned to last less than a year.
StartRocket’s CEO Vladilen Sitnikov said, “If you ask about critics of advertising and entertainment in space in general haters gonna hate. We are developing a new medium. In the beginning of television no one loved [ads] at all.”
Previously, another firm called Rocket Lab too launched a ‘disco ball’ satellite into orbit last year called Humanity Star. Though the ball circled planet for only two months, it still gained a bit of negative comments from scientists concerned about space safety.