Put your message into orbit! Buy ad space on MIT satellite

img your name in spaceA group of students at MIT and Georgia Tech are trying to raise money for their space mission by selling advertising on the spacecraft to companies and individuals. To allow sponsor to bid for advertising space on the satellite they have last week opened the YourNameIntoSpace.org web site.

The program is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Researchers, scientists and students from around the world have contributed to the design and development of this spacecraft.

In 2010, a small unmanned research spacecraft designed by the students will launch into Earth’s orbit. The ground-breaking research on board will provide another step towards to the future of space exploration.

With the YNIS project the students are inviting individuals and companies to participate in this mission by uploading content to be printed on the spacecraft. Additional funds raised through YourNameIntoSpace.org will allow MIT and partnering institutions to complete construction of the spacecraft and research from the mission more quickly and in turn achieving the benefits as soon as possible.

The approach to raise money looks similar to the highly successful one million dollar web page million-dollar-home-page that provided British student Alex Tew with almost USD 1 million – more than enough to finance his education as planned.

It seems that the students behind the YNIS project are hoping for a similar snow ball effect. They expect prices for ad space on the satellite to rise once demand kicks in.

Ads are visible on the web site and on the spaceship before, during and after the mission. Sponsors will be able to download photographs of messages, photos or other content on the spacecraft. Bigger sponsors will also get an extra feature written on the web site.

Ad space on the space craft is split into 4 zones (intro, bronze, silver and gold) with different benefits:

  • The Introductory Zone will be imaged only during assembly on Earth in high-tech clean rooms. Introductory Zone areas include the underside of the solar panels and the underside of the spacecraft base.
  • The Bronze Zone will be imaged in space by cameras located on the ends of the spacecraft’s solar panels. However, image quality may be sub-optimal because of the camera angle.
  • The Silver Zone offers the highest quality in-orbit images of your content. This zone includes area on the outside of the spacecraft’s heat shield, directly in front of the cameras.
  • There are two component sub-zones in the Gold Zone: the first area points toward the sun at all times, while the second area is within the re-entry vehicle. These location constraints mean the Gold Zone can only be imaged during spacecraft assembly on Earth. However, Gold zone sponsors will at the end of the mission receive by mail authentic flown-in-space satellite hardware featuring their content.

In the moment prices per square centimeter range from $35 to $250. Maps for the different zones on the walls of the satellite are available online.

Current biggest sponsors include Microsoft Research, National Instruments, MIT and Nasa. Various smaller companies plus individuals have already started to claim their space and uploaded ads and pictures. Microsoft Research is supporting the student satellite since 2004 through the Microsoft/MIT iCampus initiative.

The money will be used to help complete and launch the YNIS scientific research spacecraft. Specifically, it will fund the engineering and construction of spacecraft hardware – including research, software development, spacecraft testing and launch.

The satellite will be in “low Earth orbit” for five weeks, after which it will land in Australia. Launch is expected during 2010.

Sponsor can initiate their contribution and claiming ad space directly on YourNameIntoSpace.org

The website allows to place an image, logo, or text on the inner or outer surface of the spacecraft and sponsors can choose how many square centimeters the content should occupy. Once the content is uploaded and payment secured with a credit card, the ad space is reserved for the new contributor. The submission will then be reviewed by MIT and confirmed by email.

YourNameIntoSpace.org will be maintained from now until the satellite has been launched and safely recovered. The sponsor page will remain online until at least July 2011.

Payments have tax-exempt status and are supporting a valuable research project.

More information on the YourNameIntoSpace.org web site

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(4) Comments »

4 Responses to “Put your message into orbit! Buy ad space on MIT satellite”

  1. Erika Wagner Says:

    Thanks for taking an interest in our work here at MIT and Georgia Tech!  We’re excited to announce that we just added a feature that allows visitors to give space on the satellite as a great holiday gift.  For as little as $35, you can give a friend, family member, teacher, or whomever their very own “space in space”!Keep in touch.  We have more excitement on the way!

  2. paper shredders Says:

    This must be a overwhelming success of students if it will be agreed by govt.

  3. us__ Says:

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  4. Oxford Says:

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