Japanese start-up to provide "on demand" meteor showers
Taking the idea of 'entertainment' to the next level, Tokyo-based start-up ALE Co. is developing a satellite system to deliver "shooting stars on demand", and expects to deliver the world's first artificial meteor shower over Hiroshima some time in 2020. Reportedly, the project has been under-works for a while, and ALE is in the final stages of developing two satellites. Here's more.
"We are targeting the whole world, as our stockpile of shooting stars will be in space and can be delivered across the world," said ALE CEO Lena Okajami.
The two micro-satellites being developed will have a payload of 400 tiny pellets. To create an artificial meteor shower, these satellites would release some of the pellets which would burn-up as they enter the atmosphere, creating a glow bright enough to be seen from the Earth. If skies are clear, ALE's meteor showers will be visible over an area spanning 124 miles.
Each of the satellites will be able to deliver 20-30 meteor showers before running out of pellets. Interestingly, the chemical composition of the pellets remains a closely guarded secret, but ALE claims they'll be able to manipulate the color of the meteor shower.
The plan is to get the micro-satellites into space and have them orbiting Earth by February 2020. The first micro-satellite is expected to hitch a ride aboard a Japan space agency (JAXA) rocket scheduled for launch in March 2019, while the second satellite is expected to be sent into space by a private-sector rocket around mid-2019.
Reportedly, it will cost ALE around $20mn for the development, production, deployment, and operation of the two micro-satellites. However, details about how much ALE will charge people for an on-demand meteor shower hasn't been revealed yet.