Space billboards could ruin the night sky as soon as 2021


The stars may have some competition. A Russian startup by the name of StartRocket is planning to launch glowing billboards into the night sky, in order to help advertise the big-name companies and brands that already dominate our lives on Earth.

The billboards comprise of small, light-emitting satellites - CubeSats, to be precise - which connect together in low orbit in order to spell out shapes, names, and logos for corporate customers.

StartRocket has released a promo video that shows the technology in action, which you can despair over in the video below. It's just an animation at this point, but StartRocket plans to officially launch its product in 2020, with its first billboards primed to hit the night sky the following year.

Sky's the limit

The space billboards would hang in low orbit and display certain messages or logos for a duration of six minutes each. It's likely StartRocket will get tied up in red tape over the plan, though - we don't see many countries being keen on floating advertisements adding to their light pollution.

StartRocket is technically an 'e-commerce agency', one that specializes in creating and monetizing online website platforms, rather than an organization with particular ties to space exploration. The video may be more an advertisement for the company's ideas than a practical proposal.

Via SlashGear (opens in new tab)

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist. Before going freelance, he spent more than three years at TechRadar reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines also include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.