Space billboards could cost $65 million and still turn a profit

According to a new study, a billboard-like constellation of about 50 satellites could shine ads to every corner of the Earth for months — and potentially make money while doing so.

The study, conducted by Russian researchers at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), makes a reasonably compelling case, which is bolstered by the recent controversy surrounding SpaceX's highly visible Starlink satellites. The proposal in the paper is to launch a constellation of about 50 satellites at a 12U CubeSat volume — roughly the size of a full paper grocery bag. The satellites would be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit, which means they would always be in direct sunlight as they circled the Earth.

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