Japanese Start-Up to Deliver Artificial Meteor showers


Tokyo based Japanese start-up ALE is developing ‘on demand shooting stars’ which the company says will be ready by 2020 and is planning to deliver the world’s first such show of artificial meteor shower by early 2020 in Hiroshima.

ALE is making two micro satellites which are in the final stages of development. On completion, the satellites will be able to deliver small balls that will glow brightly upon entering the atmosphere simulating a shower of meteors.

ALE is planning to launch the first satellite into the atmosphere by March 2019 on a rocket that will be launched by Japan’s space agency and the second one will follow the lead and hitch the ride by the middle of 2019 and will be launched by a private-sector rocket.

“We are targeting the whole world, as our stockpile of shooting stars will be in space and can be delivered across the world,” ALE chief executive Lena Okajima told reporters.

According to the reports, each satellite is able to carry as many as 400 tiny balls whose chemical formula seems to be a top secret. Once these balls are ejected from the satellites, they will glow bright as they dive into the atmosphere. While the satellites will be able to stay in the space for over two years, the 400 balls that each of the will carry are enough for 20-30 events of artificial meteor shower. Each of the stars will burn in the atmosphere for several seconds before being completely burned up and even before they are close enough to Earth’s atmosphere to pose any danger.

ALE officials further stated that the company is also looking for any possibilities of using any satellites in the space that are not functioning to create massive shooting stars. However, the idea of pushing a used satellite into the atmosphere on targeted orbit to create big artificial shooting stars is still in the basic stage of their research.

The two satellites that ALE plans to release into the atmosphere will begin orbiting the Earth as early as February 2020 and will prepare further for the world’s first show of artificial shooting stars planned for March the same year over Japan’s western city of Hiroshima.

Officials also informed that the satellites can be either used in tandem or separately and will be specifically programmed to eject the balls at the desired location with controlled speed and direction to allow the show to viewers on the ground.

A little twist in the ingredients of the balls should also mean that there is also a possibility to change their glow and colours to offer a multi-coloured effect of the artificial shooting stars which will make fireworks a passé.