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No Billboards in Space

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the the-moon-sponsored-by-pepsi dept.

Space 380

An anonymous reader writes "CNN is reporting that the Federal Aviation Administration proposed Thursday to amend its regulations to ensure that it can enforce a law that prohibits 'obtrusive' advertising in zero gravity." From the article: "For instance, outsized billboards deployed by a space company into low Earth orbit could appear as large as the moon and be seen without a telescope, the FAA said. Big and bright advertisements might hinder astronomers."

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Huh? (5, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595235)

And sorry, who is enforcing this law? I wasn't aware that the US owned space.

Re:Huh? (-1, Redundant)

bogado (25959) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595268)

I was going exactly into this, sure I don't want more add as much as the next person, but what the hell???? If I had point I would certainly had modded you up, since this was the first thing that crossed my head (and maybe that crossed everyone else's head).

Re:Huh? (5, Interesting)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595269)

"Big and bright advertisements might hinder astronomers."

Not to mention the proliferation of space junk.

I wasn't aware that the US owned space.

Wow, even when we propose keeping space clean, you just can't pass up the chance to do a little US-bashing, can you?

Re:Huh? (1)

Deternal (239896) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595344)

Thats hardly the point - rather it would be:
Why the hell would a local (US) agency have any authority on this matter whatsoever - the logical place to go for this is via international organisations such as OECD, WITA, UN etc.

It's like the Chineese traffic authority outlawing certain types of boats in international water - even IF everyone can agree that singlehulled oiltankers are a bad idea, the chineese deciding this alone would hardly be applauded.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595353)

If this were an article about global warming...

Wow, even when we propose keeping Earth livable for humans, you just can't pass up the chance to be arrogant pricks, can you?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595371)

"arrogant pricks"

I thought the French supported the Kyoto treaty.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595452)


Sorry to tell you, but it's a scam and should be forgotten, and it will be, a year or two before the 2011 (is that correct?) deadlines. No western EU country will be in line with the guidelines.

Of course, these countries will break the treaty, and blame the US for forcing them to.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595280)

The U.S. owns the space the space above the U.S.. I guess the question would be how far up do you consider U.S. airspace.

Besides, this is a good thing. It was only a matter of time until somebody started doing it...

How far up? (2)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595313)

Good question, considering that as the earth turns, our cone of airspace, or spacespace, if extended infinitely, would cover a significant portion of the universe.

Re:Huh? (2, Interesting)

MrDomino (799876) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595376)

It was only a matter of time until somebody started doing it...

True, but I can't be the only one who's a little disgusted that advertising is so invasive and prevalent that something like this can even be considered a possibility in the first place.

Re:Huh? (0, Troll)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595490)

So who has the right to sell those plots of land on the moon, or mars?

£££ for something you'll never see or have anything to do with again.
...I'm just so glad that people who are complete fucking retards and can't earn an honest penny in their life, can sell this bullshit and get rich.... yeah, it makes my IT talent and hard work, seem so worth it, even though I earn jack shit. Pft!

I tried to sell land on the moon and mars myself but got laughed at every occasion I tried. I don't see why, same rules should apply to me as they do to some smart ass company who thinks they own the whole universe.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595281)

The regulation undoubtedly is not of space as that is impossible for any nation or group of nations. Rather, so far as is logical, the regulation would apply to and be imposed on companies under jurisdiction of the US-that is, this seemingly makes it so that no US company may act to place that sort of advertisement under penalty of the US, purely within its current bounds.

Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595284)

I hope ads do appear in space. We can then use them as target practice. ICBM target practice, that is.

Launch sites. (4, Insightful)

redfenix (456698) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595290)

Okay, the FAA controls the US airspace, right? So, they probably won't allow any of these LEO Billboards to be launched in the U.S.

Of course, there's virtually nothing they can do if an LEO craft is launched from some other location and meanders over the U.S. from time to time.

Perhaps they could do something if it were placed in a geostationary orbit over the U.S. but then it wouldn't be in LEO.

Re:Launch sites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595301)

Well, I'm sure we could figure out some way to blow it up. It would only be a matter of time. We like to blows thing up here.

Re:Launch sites. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595367)

Except LEO is maybe 120 miles up, whereas geostationary orbit is about 34000 miles up. I don't think people realize how far 34,000 miles is. You can see mountains 100 miles away on a clear day, so a sign in LEO is not unreasonable. But just try to make a sign so big it can be seen from GEO. Go ahead.

Units (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595422)

Oops, meant 34,000 KM there, not miles, sorry. Maybe I should work for NASA.

Re:Launch sites. (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595396)

An unpowered geostationary orbit would require that the satellite be directly above a point on the earth's equator, as a certain altitude. How many such places are under US jurisdiction (as opposed to interdiction)?

Re:Huh? (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595291)

They are following the rules of colonialism, otherwise known as claiming area for one's nation with the cunning use of flags. The US has a flag on the moon, so until someone else claims another piece of space with another flag, it's all theirs.

For more please refer to Eddie Izzard [angelfire.com] .

Re:Huh? (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595387)

ONe flag a colony does not make. The Dutch claimed a large chunk of Australia back in the seventeenth century but let it lie until the Brits moved in.

Basically a cosmic case of "You snooze you lose".

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595328)

Well, if they say they do, they do.

Until someone is able, and has the motivation, to take it from them, that is.

Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595340)

Dude, you just have to keep up with the memos. I think you'll find this one actually under the leopard. He likes to sit on odd bits of paper.

The whole thing reminds me of a 20 or 30 year old Playboy cartoon though. Two guys are standing on a highrise balcony looking at the moon, which, instead of "The Man in the Moon" displays a Playboy rabbit head logo and one is saying to the other:

"I wonder how much it cost him?"

I guess it'll mean war with the Lunatics when they actually do it, for deploying Weapons of Mass Delusion, or something.


Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595364)

The US also legislates what can be done with the electromagnetic spectrum. Gasp, does that mean that they think they own all electromagnetic radition? No, it doesn't. It just means that they legislate what happens inside their borders. Couldn't pass up the opportunity to throw in a random poke at the US could ya? Sadly, it's enough for the mods.

Re:Huh? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595390)

Just half to bash not matter what. The US will probably enforce this by making it illegal for US companies and companies that do business in the US to use these billboards.
Then the US will use it's power to get other countries to follow this law as well.
Just so you know the US has a lot of political and economic power. Of course some will complain even when the US uses this power for something positive.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

clem.dickey (102292) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595406)

> I wasn't aware that the US owned space.

It would be silly to say that the US owns space. That would be like saying that it owns, oh, Iraq. Historically nations have had "ownership" according to how far they can project force. The "three mile limit" for ocean ownership was determined by the range of shore guns. The USSR did not "own" its airspace until it proved that it could shoot down a U2 spy plane.

If the US Air Force succeds in militarizing space, the US may indeed "own" it. That may prove easier than "owning" Iraq. :-)

On a separate topic, it seems to me that a LEO banner would be visible mostly at dusk or dawn. How would it be lit in the middle of the night? Reflection from terrestrial lights maybe, or flourexcent paint?

Buy Jupiter (1)

kzinti (9651) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595237)

be seen without a telescope

So we could still make a deal if aliens drop by wanting to buy Jupiter [mac.com] .

Buy Jupiter, but leave at least one moon. (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595293)

> be seen without a telescope
> So we could still make a deal if aliens drop by wanting to buy Jupiter. [mac.com]

Jupiter? Yeah, we at AlienClick [mttp://] can do that. In fact, all these worlds can be yours for $39.99 per line, except Europa, which has been reserved by a prior bidder.

Buy Jupiter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595321)

Sell Uranus.

Re:Buy Jupiter? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595370)

He already does.

Uranus ain't for sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595352)

But Cowboy Neal's is!

The DOT needs to do the same (4, Insightful)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595240)

No big, bright billboards by highways either- because they are a distraction to drivers.

Re:The DOT needs to do the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595351)

No big, bright billboards by highways either- because they are a distraction to drivers.

Yes! I agree 100%. Our billboards around here are starting to become giant LCD billboards with flashing and motion. It's really hard not to have your attention drawn to them which is a real safety hazzard. These kinds of billboards need to be outlawed.

Re:The DOT needs to do the same (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595395)

Ya ever notice that the cops don't like to go where there's a lot of crime?


Re:The DOT needs to do the same (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595444)

Of course they don't. Because high crime areas are populated by the stupidest, most drugged out criminals.

If you're going to die in the line of duty, you want it to be rescuing an infant from a burning hospital, not getting it in the back because Levron lost his favorite hi-tops.

Re:The DOT needs to do the same (2, Funny)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595463)

I forget where it was, but I recently read a claim (by some advertiser, IIRC--go figure) that these huge billboards in rural interstate and interstate-ish driving help drivers by breaking the monotony .

No, I don't really believe it ... but I really just read this somewhere. Wish I could find the source now...

Re:The DOT needs to do the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595479)

I can second that motion. Where's the petition to sign? My job has sent me to Mississippi for a while, and there's a long stretch along I-10 with cassino billboards. They're all owned by the Grand Casino, and drivers have to read them ALL to get the jist of the message. What's worse is the glaringly bright lightboard which is just another moving distraction in daylight, but it's absolutely blinding at night!

+5 Insightful (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595241)

Fuck those whores, they dont control space. Advertisers will just outsource them to India.

Astronomers?! (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595244)

How about it driving everyone bonkers?

Re:Astronomers?! (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595394)

Seriously, I don't think doing something like this would be a positive step for a company to take. They'd get a whole lot of publicity out of it right at the beginning, but pretty soon it'd become a major eyesore, and there'd be a lot of loathing towards them for putting it there. Looking at it would get old really quick.

There'd probably be some significant protesting outside their HQ and whatnot. There would be calls for boycotting, which would probably gain some traction, as people become more and more tired of it.

If some company did it, and it was only visible up there for a few days, they'd get some serious publicity, and if they let it die while it was still a novelty, they'd get mostly good press and an excited public. I'd check a website to find out when it'd be overhead, and then go watch it pass over a few times. Just as long as it doesn't stay long enough to become an eyesore.

After a few of these advertisements happened, it'd cease to be a novelty, and the excitement of seeing one would wear off, and people would turn against them.

That's how I imagine it at least.

Rats. (1)

tbcpp (797625) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595246)

Man now I can't put a big 1 mile by 1 mile sign up with the two ASCII characters ./ Talk about no freedom of speech.

Re:Rats. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595326)

You forgot the ./rtfm, so it would have no supporters... Whereas if it were /., it would have many zany, somewhat-anonymous-but-here-on-the-internet supporters.

Re:Rats. (1)

maczealot (864883) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595346)

That would be in Bizaro world you are talking about? Where there is some website known as dotslash.org?

Re:Rats. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595480)

He/she was whoring for some karma and fucked it all up. Damn those posers!

In other news.. (5, Funny)

AndOne (815855) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595247)

Europe annouces a space billboard initiative. Part of this initiative involves a unilateral declaration that any attempt to remove their billboards will be seen as an act of agression. Followed by what sounded like muffled laughter.

Re:In other news.. (0, Troll)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595488)

Sure, I can just picture Europe standing up to us when we take down their billboards. Our space program can reach any billboard they could put up and then some. Whereas on the other end of the process, their military includes the french.

Coming next month... WalMart banned in space (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595251)

The FAA will conclude that WalMart in space would hurt local merchants.

Mods suck. This was not off-topic. It was funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595296)

Me thinks more Jimmy Kimmel the mods should watch. -Yoda

Meanwhile high-earth-orbit ad rights skyrocket (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595252)

As the builders of the space elevator located just off the coast in Cuba light up the night sky with giant billboards facing Florida ....

Oh, c'mon, don't tell me you didn't see that one coming ...

Anyone who puts an advert in space... (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595254)

...will be on the receiving end of a petrol bomb.

Act like a twat, you'll be treated like a twat.

Alien Marketing Corp. (1)

endsley (133275) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595259)

Yep, this'll stop US markets in space ... but how 'bout those dang Martians setting up 'Eat at Joes' signs in yer loca L4's? I have to laugh at this stuff. Desire is one thing, but making it happen is another. With all the junk we have flying around up there now they probably wouldn't last long for the investment.

Disc-shaped ads... (5, Funny)

jemenake (595948) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595260)

If they occupy as much solid-angle as the moon, then they could eclipse the sun (or moon). Can you imagine disc-shaped billboards? I can see it now... "This eclipse brought to you by Coca-Cola!" Better yet, "All your photons are belong to us". - Joe

oblig... (2, Funny)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595447)

Since the beginning of time man has yearned to destroy the sun. I will do the next best thing...block it out!
[presses a button raising a shield over the model town]

Commie advertisements? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595262)

What if Fidel Castro or Hu Jintao (two known tinpot Commie dictators - Mr. Castro of Cuba and Mr. Jintao of China) want to advertise Commie propaganda through this method? Who the heck is gonna stop them?

Does this law really matter? (1)

Altizar (736406) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595267)

Something would be a bigger challenge to as astronomers that the light polution given off by cities? Anyway how does this law matter since the FAA has no rights to enforce this law since you could physicly be above a forgen nation but be clearly visiable to the entire united states (if it was large enough)

Re:Does this law really matter? (1)

StratoChief66 (841584) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595486)

Ok, light pollution is one thing, but a big billboard actually blocking an area of sky is another. Light pollution decreases your ability to see the stars, the billboard blocks them from view entirely

Country's flags (2, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595273)

Imagine if China put its flag in orbit. What is the US going to do, shoot it down?

Re:Country's flags (2, Funny)

maczealot (864883) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595372)

Pretty much yep. Especially if it is visible from the U.S. and/or interferes with any of our satellites or other devices.

Seriously though, why would China do this? *boggle* To advertise their government: "Look everybody, its Communism Lite, now with half the fanatical controlling of markets for the priviledged few!"

Re:Country's flags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595420)

No, we will just launch a giant billboard in front of it that says "sucks!" in giant letters with a clear background.

Science vs. The Almighty Buck...And Science Looses (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595276)

In the good 'ol USA science is suggesting the advertising dollar take the back seat. I don't think so... the military industrial complex is pushing ahead with weapons in space in the face of many nations wanting to keep space weapons free and the scientific community thinks advertisiing will be kept out of space?

I can see it coming... (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595279)

It's NOT obstrusive, honest.....

It only covers .1% of the sky!

So what if its 1000 sq miles and neon green

(no idea on actual numbers but you get the idea)

When will NASA be ticketed for littering in space? (1)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595285)

We can't keep any double-standards. What is with people that think just because the letters N-A-S-A all line up in serial that it constitutes immunity from litter laws?

All are equally under the law, or no?

Stupid American regulators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595287)

The advertising will simply be slightly more than zero g to avoid the wording of their regulations. With a very-slowly decaying orbit you could get quite a few impressions before the reentry. And with enough luck, you could go for deorbit somewhere over DC.

Fiction because Fact (2, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595295)

Blade Runner (1982) [imdb.com] I believe employed the use of either low orbit billboards, or just random hovering billboards. Hard to tell what the effect was intended to be.

This is just silly. (1)

john_anderson_ii (786633) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595303)

That's right. Silly.

The U.S. can't even control ground based advertisements and internet pop-ups within it's own borders. Why the hell is any government agency so wrapped up in make laws and regulations that don't even apply yet!

Well, if the FAA/FCC/[A-Z] agency won't help me crusade against idiotic advertising I'll do it on my own. I think I could make a living at it even.

That's right. I'm changing my profession to assasin for hire. I'll find out who is responsible to stupid, korny, and plain annoying commercials and kill them.

I'm currently taking up collections for the head of the mastermind behind the recockulous Burger King 'Waking up with King' campain, and throwing in a side of the stupid Social Security 'You wouldn't tear down the house to fix the sink' campaing.

I'll start the bidding at $20.
I also plan on paying the composer of 'Metropolitain Matress' a visit. That will be an open auction though.

Just a joke (0, Offtopic)

puiahappy (855662) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595309)

I heard a joke related to this someday. its sound like this:
-Mr. President, national security cheff to the US President, the russians ar plenning to send their astronauts to paint the moon into red.
-No problem, sad the president, we will send than our astronauts and paint a "Coca~Cola" logo into the middle.

And by the way (0, Redundant)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595319)

No Billboards in Space

No farting either. Or copying DVDs. Britney is banned in space too.

Re:And by the way (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595379)

Britney is banned in space too.

And here I was thinking that was the only reasonable place to send her.


The USA owns space? (0, Redundant)

9mm Censor (705379) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595332)

I gather I missed the article (and subsequent dupes) declaring that the USA has absolute authority over space.

Might?! (5, Informative)

GreyOrange (458961) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595337)

I'm a member of the astronomy club here in Orlando and Disney World about 35 miles away impedes our observations. Any astronomer will tell you that a full moon can ruin observations for the night and any billboard that's as bright as the moon and is in full brightness all the time is going to tick every astronomer off within the viewable region. I feel sorry for any country's astronomers where one of these things get put up.

Seems like... (1)

Dethboy (136650) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595339)

it would be a great place to hide the space lasers behind...

Re:Seems like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595383)

Just fill the thing with nukes and crash the ad into any country that pisses you off.

Information distribution (1)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595360)

The Ads that are possibe with this would suck but why not use it as a warning system for poor nations, say a volcano is about to erupt, put a message in the sky for all to see, no matter how rual, the message would get out.

Loophole (2, Interesting)

Oooius (882757) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595368)

Sounds like there's a pretty big loophole to me - technically speaking, low earth orbit is not zero-gravity. The gravity that close to the earth is almost as strong as it is here on the surface. The onyl difference is that you're zinging around at 20,000 MPH, thus keeping yourself from falling out of the sky.

What do our libertarians say? (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595369)

I would be interested in what libertarians would say about this.
After all, if you own some physical property, it seems that you can do with it as you wish, especially if it is in space, which is not anyone's property.

I swear... (2, Interesting)

PyWiz (865118) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595380)

...you slashdotters just can't help making desperate attempts to cynically imply the US government is trying to overstep its boundaries and turn into some fascist regime. Sorry, but companies based in the US CAN be regulated by the US government. Many European countries will likely follow with similar laws and thus most major companies will be stopped from displaying billboards in space. Note this is NOT a violation of anyone's rights, simply a reasonable use of regulatory power.

Good try, though.

Re:I swear... (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595459)

Sorry, but companies based in the US CAN be regulated by the US government.

That's debatable - multinational corporations could simply state that it's one of their international bodies advertising, such as Coca-Cola Colombia or something like that. The US government is powerless to corporations, really; although it's their own doing.

Zero gravity? (2, Insightful)

Mensa Babe (675349) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595389)

In other words: forget the static billboards and welcome the spinning billtorusii thanks to the general relativity theory and the equivalence principle in non-inertial frames of reference. Another example of politicians who want to write laws to control the entire universe without any knowledge of the real laws of said universe. (Pun most definitely intended.) Sad. Very sad.

Old and silly Joke (5, Funny)

elgrinner (472922) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595411)

An American Officer runs up to his superior and says excitedly: "Sir, Sir! The Soviets have painted the moon red, what should we do?"
After a little contemplation the man replied: "Take a bucket of white paint to the moon and write Coca Cola on it."

Blocking progress (3, Insightful)

Symb (182813) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595423)

The FCC can't mandate broadcast flag. The FCC can mandate what goes in space.

Religion can't stop suicide, but it can stop stem cell research.

I'm so damn confused.

Won't it be nice when nationalism fades?

The rules (2, Funny)

agent0range_ (472103) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595424)

1) arrive first

2) arrive armed

There! you own space! Works for solar systems, planets, moons, asteroids. Quite simple, really.

I was hoping to make a fortune selling rocket-propelled 'adblockers' but now I have to think of another get-rich-quick scheme.

Inevitably... (2, Funny)

setirw (854029) | more than 8 years ago | (#12595471)

"That's no moon... that's an oversized advertisement for the next generation Whopper(tm)"

So much for my Spread Firefox Idea... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12595478)


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