The next time you see a meteor shower it might be a man-made one. While this might sound incredible, it could become a reality soon thanks to a Japanese satellite. The Epsilon rocket carrying that satellite was launched into space this Friday.
LAUNCH!!! An Epsilon rocket launches from the Uchinoura Space Center in Japan with RAPIS-1 and six other small satellites. #JAXA pic.twitter.com/WoA6zSB5dF
— Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) January 18, 2019
The meteor shower
The micro-satellite was created so it can be “shooting stars on demand”. Basically, it releases small balls that glow, making it look as if there is a meteor shower. The satellite was on the Epsilon rocket and the launch took place at the Uchinoura space centre. Behind this project is the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
There are 400 tiny balls on the satellite. Scientists did not share the chemical formula for those balls. It was also explained that the satellite should provide around 20 to 30 events. One “meteor shower” will have up to 20 stars, so don’t expect something massive yet.
This is not the only satellite that was carried by the rocket. There are seven small satellites there and each one has a unique technology. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced that all seven satellites were successfully launched.
“I was too moved for words,” explained Lena Okajima, president of the company behind the artificial meteor showers. “I feel like now the hard work is ahead.” We should see the first man-made shooting stars in the spring of 2020. ALE, the company behind the satellite, added that they want to make the man-made meteor showers a worldwide thing. A second satellite will be launch in a couple of months and it will be carried by a private-sector rocket.
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.