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Tuesday 06th of January 2009
May 20, 2005

US bans space billboards


by Brian Turner
US bans space billboards

In Washington, DC, the US Federal Aviation Administration Thursday published a proposed regulation in the Federal Register that would prohibit US companies from launching advertising billboards into orbit.

The FAA is basing the proposed regulation on an act of Congress that bans “obtrusive” space advertising. Title 49 of the United States Code defines obtrusive space advertising as “advertising in outer space that is capable of being recognized by a human being on the surface of the Earth without the aid of a telescope or other technological device.”

The proposed regulation will adopt this definition. The agency took the action after an unidentified company proposed a plan to launch billboards into low-earth orbit.

These billboards, according to information in the Federal Register, would appear as large as the moon when viewed from earth and would be visible to millions of people around the world. The FAA said that these billboards could eliminate darkness from the night sky.

Among other effects, this would have an adverse effect on the practice of astronomy. The public has until July 18 to comment on the proposed regulation.

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