Space billboards, like something from Futurama
In 1993 there was a proposal to build a giant advertising billboard in outer space that would appear roughly the same size and brightness as the moon.
The project didnt meet funding and inspired a bill to ban all advertisement in outer space.
Advertising in space has faced criticisms for contributing to the existing problem of space debris and “polluting” the view of space as seen from the ground. It is regulated by several international and national legislation, though as technology improves further regulation will likely be required to cover new forms of space advertising.
While space advertising is limited by both contemporary regulation and technological capability, in popular culture, localised space advertising has taken a variety of forms and displays. Such as;
- Tokyo Broadcasting System (1990) – Paid spaceflight where a journalist was sent into orbit with the company logo on space vehicle.
- Pepsi (1996) – Paid approximately US$5 million to have a cosmonaut float a replica of the company’s soda can outside the Russian space station.
- Tnuva (1997) – Filming of a milk commercial in space for the Israeli company.
- Pizza Hut (2000) – Paid approximately US$1 million for a space ad that saw their logo painted on a rocket.
- Element 21 (2006) – Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin hit a golf ball. from the ISS porch as part of a commercial with Element 21.
- SpaceX (2018) – Sent a Tesla Roadster into orbit as the dummy payload for Falcon Heavy test flight.
- Rocket Lab (2019) – Sent a shiny object, the Humanity Star, into orbit.