Japanese Company Offers Meteor Showers On Demand For the Rich

Sunday, 25 March 2018 - 3:56PM
Space
Technology
Sunday, 25 March 2018 - 3:56PM
Japanese Company Offers Meteor Showers On Demand For the Rich
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Last fall, it was announced that a company called Astro Live Experiences (ALE) would be creating a fake meteor shower over the skies of Hiroshima, Japan in 2019. Apparently, this "Sky Canvas" idea turned some heads among those who wanted their own fake meteor showers.

Now, ALE is saying that they'll be offering their "artificial meteor shower" services for anybody who wants to see colorful, very advanced fireworks whenever they feel like watching the skies. The company considers themselves to be the first "aerospace entertainment" firm, a growing field as more companies launch rich tourists into orbit or more quirky satellites like the fake meteor-producing ones planned by ALE.  

Much like their upcoming Sky Canvas show next year, ALE uses satellite about 220 miles above the ground, which will launch out 15-20 half-inch metallic pebbles that'll burn brightly in the night sky for a few seconds, about the length of a normal meteor streak. Although these will be bright colors like blue, orange, and green and can be repositioned around any city or amusement park in the world. 



About two microsatellites will be launched into space carrying 300-400 of these metallic pebbles and about 27 months worth of propellant before burning up in the atmosphere, at a safer altitude of 30 miles beneath the International Space Station, to avoid the ever-increasing risk of satellite collisions. The satellites cost about $300 million each, so clearly the company is expecting a big audience.

While the idea is novel and certain to get a sensible chuckle out of some millionaire who pays for a show, Earth's orbit is growing increasingly crowded with satellites and there are growing concerns that frivolous satellites like this or the recent Disco Ball satellite can needless increase the risk of collisions. Especially if some of them (like Sky Canvas) launch pieces of metal to further crowd the sky. 

But ALE is certain that there's no chance of collision, telling Buzzfeed News that they've done plenty of calculations and none of them seemed remotely dangerous, which is hopefully true. They haven't revealed how much one of these shows would cost, only that it would be less than the millions of dollars spent on fireworks displays in large cities like New York.



In the future, there's about to be plenty more satellites going up into space, as SpaceX prepares to launch their vast network of internet satellites, and as other smaller companies try legally or illegally to get their own satellites into orbit.

But for now, we'll have to settle with artificial meteor shower-producing satellites for those who can't wait until the next normal meteor shower.
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