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A tiny satellite billboard will stream livestream ads from orbit: NPR

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket goes into orbit after taking off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on May 26th. The same type of missile is expected to launch a near-earth billboard next year. Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images Hide caption

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Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket goes into orbit after taking off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on May 26th. The same type of missile is expected to launch a near-earth billboard next year.

Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

These days, there doesn’t seem to be a way to escape advertising – and at first glance, the news that a Canadian company has hired SpaceX to put a billboard into low-Earth orbit seems to put an end to any debate to the contrary.

The startup Geometric Energy Corp. (GEC) tells Business Insider that it plans to launch a satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket next year, with advertisements broadcast from Earth and displayed on a pixelated screen on the side of the spaceship.

However, in case you fear that giant space billboards will forever ruin a romantic stroll under the stars, know that GEC is calling its proposed spaceship the CubeSat, a type of spacecraft that is only about 10 x 10 x 4 inches . The ads are not visible from the ground, but are photographed with a high-tech selfie stick and streamed live on YouTube or Twitch.

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The idea is that anyone can make an ad purchase on the GEC satellite, buy tokens to design their message, determine its colors, brightness and display duration, Samuel Reid, CEO and co-founder of the company, told Business Insider.

Emails from NPR to GEC asking for details of the satellite were not immediately returned.

“There could be companies that want to display their logo … or it could end up being a bit more personal and artistic,” said Reid.

“I’m trying to achieve something that democratizes access to space and enables decentralized participation,” said Reid. “Hopefully people don’t waste money on something inappropriate, offensive, or offensive.”

Space traffic is increasing and critics fear a crash

Although it sounds pretty harmless, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has already defaced the night sky with another Starlink project – a massive constellation of satellites to create an affordable global internet connection.

As NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel reported in 2019, SpaceX’s launch of dozens of Starlink satellites into orbit has worried astronomers about permanently changing their view of the night sky. Similar concerns have been expressed by amateur astronomers.

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