- A Canadian startup told Insider it's launching a space-ad satellite into orbit via a Falcon 9 rocket.
- GEC's CEO Samuel Reid said anyone can advertise on the satellite by buying a pixel with crypto.
- The satellite's selfie-stick will film the screen and the footage will be livestreamed on YouTube.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
It's not just rockets, satellites, and billionaires that are flying to space – advertising is too.
Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC), a Canadian startup that provides technology services, exclusively told Insider that it's making space advertising possible with the help of SpaceX.
Samuel Reid, CEO and co-founder of GEC, said the company is in the process of building a satellite, called a CubeSat. One side of the satellite will have a pixelated display screen where the advertisements, logos, and art will appear, Reid said.
The company plans to load the CubeSat on to a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which will take it into orbit and release it before the rocket reaches the moon.
Once in orbit, a selfie-stick attached to the side of the CubeSat will film the display screen. This footage will be livestreamed on YouTube or Twitch so anyone can tune in to watch the satellite's screen, Reid said.
The CubeSat will be released in early 2021, according to Reid.
You can buy tokens for the pixels in crypto
To advertise on the CubeSat, people have to buy tokens to claim, locate, and design a pixel on the display screen.
There are five tokens to choose from – Beta for the X coordinate, Rhoe for the Y coordinate, Gamma for the brightness, Kappa for the colour, and XI for time.
With the Beta and Rhoe tokens, people can decide where to place their pixel. The Gamma and Kappa tokens allow people to control what their pixel will look like, while the XI token determines how long it will last for.
"I'm trying to achieve something that can democratize access to space and allow for decentralized participation," Reid said. "Hopefully, people don't waste money on something inappropriate, insulting or offensive."
People will be able to buy the tokens with cryptocurrencies such as ethereum. In the future, GEC wants to introduce dogecoin payments.
Reid couldn't reveal how much each token or CubeSat would cost. SpaceX didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Anyone can advertise on a CubeSat
Businesses, advertisers, artists, and anyone else who is interested will be able to put their illustrations on the CubeSat's display screen, Reid said.
"There might be companies which want to depict their logo … or it might end up being a bit more personal and artistic," Reid said. "Maybe Coca-Cola and Pepsi will fight over their logo and reclaim over each other."
Reid imagines the CubeSat display screen to look similar to artboards such as Reddit Place and Satoshi's Place.
How GEC teamed up with SpaceX
Reid reached out to SpaceX in 2018 to initiate the advertising project but got no reply. He said it took SpaceX a while to take GEC seriously before he eventually had a meeting at the company headquarters.
Reid taught some of Musk's children at the billionaire's Ad Astra school at SpaceX's offices in California, which he said helped SpaceX to take notice of him and GEC.
Reid said he never got the chance to meet Musk in the flesh but assumes he'll talk to him directly at some point during the project.