Legend has it that if one wishes upon a shooting star, one’s wish will come true. Clearly, this is an age-old myth, but if it is true, then in not-so-distant future, many people can have their wishes granted on-demand – thanks to a Tokyo-based startup, ALE Co., Ltd, who wants to create artificial meteor shower for entertainment purpose. Yup. You read that right. Manmade meteor shower. Who would have thought traditional fireworks would be facing competition after reining the night sky for decades? Regular folks won’t even think there’s an alternative – not even when 100 drones took to the sky to light up the tranquil night sky and gracefully, ‘dancing’ to a live symphony.
So, how does ALE intend to achieve that? Theoretically, it is fairly simple. The idea is to launch a small cube-shaped satellite about 50 cm by 50 cm by 50cm loaded with secret source particles into orbit and a specially designed device will discharge those particles (on-demand, of course) in the opposite direction to the satellite motion. Each of these particles serve to replicate space particle entering the Earth’s atmosphere which subsequently burns in a process called plasma emission, thereby recreating the shooting star that we sometimes observe. Thus, hundreds or thousands of such particles will enable the Japanese company to recreate a meteor shower (in variety of colors, if desired) and with a brightness visible to the naked eyes, even in metropolitan area, and wowing an audience within a 62 miles (100 km) radius.
So, unlike fireworks, this “future entertainment in space” has a lot wider coverage. However, with a projected cost of $8,100 per meteor, this form of entertainment is clearly not for average joes. So, ordinary individuals will just have to wait out for natural occurring meteor if they wish for the shooting stars to grant their wishes. Then again, that’s just a myth and so, let’s not be too hard on yourself for not being able to afford a meteor shower.
The company plans to launch its first satellite in “latter half of 2017” and kicking off this space-age night sky entertainment in 2018. After which, it will continue to launch a new satellite every year. In fact, the company has its sight on set on Tokyo 2020.