Selling pixels to fly to space

Remember the Million Dollar Homepage, an effort by a British student to raise $1 million by selling ad space, one pixel at a time, on a web page. That effort was wildly successful (even if the page looks like a pointillist’s nightmare), netting Alex Tew his $1 million and spawning countless similar, if generally less successful, efforts.

One of the latest efforts is, by Michael Halls-Moore, a grad student working on a PhD in hypersonics at Imperial College London. Halls-Moore is trying to raise £1 million to help pay for a ride into space, either on SpaceShipTwo or its orbital successor. (He acknowledges in the site’s FAQ that he only needs a little over a tenth of that £1 million for a suborbital flight on SS2, but he’d really like to save up for an as-yet hypothetical SpaceShipThree flight.)

Unlike the original Million Dollar Homepage or many of its clones, the site is not filled with a garish collage of tiny ads. Instead, advertisers buy stars or larger nebulae or galaxies. A handful of advertisers have signed up right now, so that most of the constellation Orion is clearly visible, netting Halls-Moore a total of £170. He’s also gotten a little bit of media attention, including a press release from his university this week.

1 comment to Selling pixels to fly to space

  • […] Last year I noted, an effort to raise money for a suborbital spaceflight by selling ad pixels, a project modeled on the “Million Dollar Homepage”. Now there’s another entrant in this field. Last week Ben Riecken, a flight instructor in Florida, announced his own effort to raise money for a trip through a pixel-selling scheme. My Trip In Space is more like the original Million Dollar Homepage, with ad logos filling up a grid. (, by comparison, sells “stars” and “nebulae”.) So far Riecken’s site has only a handful of advertisers, just as Michael Halls-Moore has only sold a few stars on his site. Given that few copycats to the original Million Dollar Homepage have enjoyed even a small level of success, it doesn’t seem like this is going to be a tenable approach to raising money for a suborbital spaceflight. […]

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