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NextGen Magazine


Japanese Space Company Plans to Put Ads on Moon by 2020

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 14, 2017
By Gregory H. Revera - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

A Japanese space company has raised $90 million so far to go to the moon and put ads on surface, which would then fund further missions like searching for water and other resources there, according to Bloomberg. The funding has come from major companies like Japan Airlines and Tokyo Broadcasting Systems Holdings Inc., as well as governmental entities like the Development Bank of Japan and the government-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan. The company, iSpace, believes that firms will be eager to make use of their "projection mapping service" which would allow them to place their ads on a small billboard on the moon's surface. It would also allow companies to put their logos on its spacecraft and rovers, as well as deliver images that can be used in further advertising. 

This is not the first time people have considered advertising in space. A United Nations report noted that a company, Space Marketing Inc., wanted to create a 1 km square "space billboard" that would sit in low Earth orbit and rival the brightness of the moon, though it was unable to get the required funding to launch such a venture. The UN noted that such a billboard would have "obliterated" most astronomical observations and would likely be subject to 10,000 impacts of space debris per day. The report also talked about an attempt to launch solar mirrors that would provide winter illumination to polar regions, but would also be capable of delivering ads in space. Like the space billboard, it too failed to receive proper funding. Overall, the UN report found attempts to turn outer space into ad space alarming. 

"The future of astronomy clearly depends on the extent to which it will be possible to limit the degradation of the space environment. Obtrusive space advertising is one such grave concern for the future. Unlike several other forms of adverse environmental impact, however, there is still time for prevention before irreversible damage to astronomy is done," said the UN report. 

The Japanese company, however, felt that marketing in space was vital to space exploration, saying there won't be an incentive to fund it unless people think they can make money from it. iSpace said they were working to build a space economy that could be the basis for further ventures.