Japanese Startup is Planning an Artificial Shooting Star Show
Meteor showers are strikingly beautiful cosmic events, but seeing them can be difficutly due to locations, visibility, and a variety of other factors. A Japanese startup called ALE Co. is currently looking to develop a system that will allow paying customers to have “shooting stars on demand” according to a report by the Japan Times. If successful, it will be the first man-made meteor shower in the history of the world, and it could all take place in just two years.
The company is depending on a system of two satellites, both of which are currently still in developmental stages. The first satellite is slated to be launched sometime in March 2019, while the second is expected to launch in Summer 2019. The way it works is that each satellite will be loaded with 400 tiny spheres that are carrying a special chemical formula that is supposed to mimic the appearance of a shooting star in the sky. Each sphere can even be reused up to 20-30 times, allowing for a number of artificial star shows to happen before needing to be replaced.
The satellites supposedly have a lifespan of 24 months and would be programmed to send these tiny artificial shooting stars across a specific place in space. Since they are being shot into space, they could potentially be viewed by millions of people. The question remains as to how they will be able to differentiate between customers who paid to see the show, and others who just happen to be in the area that have visibility of the show.
ALE CEO Leba Okajami told reporters. “We are targeting the whole world, as our stockpile of shooting stars will be in space and can be delivered across the world.” If the developmental stages progress smoothly, we could see the first tests of this artificial star shooting system to take place in less than two years. This test is planned to occur over Hiroshima, chosen for its stable weather and cultural significance to Japan. No word on how much these shows will cost to have a meteor shower of your own, but the starting budget of the tests amounts to $20 million, so it sounds like it might be out of financial reach for the majority of people. Still, it is a unique and exciting idea that could certainly be a sight to behold.