Rule Banning Space Ads
This is the text of the proposed rule, published in the Federal Register May 19, 2005. (For you, P.T. Thanks for your request.)
A Probe reader asks, doesn't the U.S. already ban space ads? As the FAA clarifies in the proposed rule, "[t]he National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106–391) amended 49 U.S.C. chapter 701 to add a prohibition against 'obtrusive' space advertising.. . . Obtrusive space advertising, as defined in 49 U.S.C. chapter 701, is '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.' 49 U.S.C. 70102. Although the statute gives the FAA the authority to prohibit obtrusive space advertising using a payload, current regulations do not reflect this authority. For this reason, we are proposing to add a definition of 'obtrusive space advertising' to our general definitions section at 14 CFR 401.5. The language of the definition is the same as that contained in the statute."
The FAA will accept comments on the rulemaking until July 18, 2005. (We may send comments to the FAA electronically via the DOT Docket Web Site.)
(Meanwhile, naturally, comments appear on blogs and other sites that the FAA won't necessarily see. For example, over in the U.K., The Register reports its readers have suggested "the space billboard ban may be just so the U.S. itself has a clear field of fire for its space cannons."
And from lies.com: "I'm torn between really liking the concept of preventing space-based advertising, and being fairly horrified at the notion that the FAA would just up and suggest that it has any business regulating such activity.")