Before they had to close down due to lack of funds, Jackson Community College had one of the better space museums in the country. A couple of the Mercury and Apollo astronauts came from Jackson, MI and a number of donations and acquisitions led to them having a nice collection of authentic capsules, satellites and other space program memorabilia.
I was fortunate enough to go there while watching my grandparent’s house and got to tour the museum just a few years before it ended it’s mission. One of the things they had on the wall was a prognosis that itself appeared decades old, but that spoke of a future possibility of huge mylar space mirrors that could be used to reflect sunlight onto the night side of the earth to provide day-like illumination.
Not too long after this, Art Bell caught wind of it when some Russian scientists were discussing it as a possibility to light areas of Siberia that had prolonged nights due to their arctic proximity. Art brought it up off and on for over a year as a result.
When I first saw the Jackson museum placard, I first thought of the commercialization of space and imagined a scenario similar to the one above. Huge Mylar mirrors used to light stadiums – branded with commercial logos of their corporate sponsors. Of course, if the mirror was shining on the stadium, you wouldn’t actually see the logos. It would instead look like a miniature sun. But if you were able to see the mirror when it wasn’t pointing directly at you, you would be able to make out any logos emblazoned on their surface.
Just imagine looking up any time of the day or night and seeing ‘Google’ or Amoco floating up in the sky!