Japan sends 'first artificial meteor shower' into space

Japan sends 'first artificial meteor shower' into space

Once the satellite reaches a lower earth orbit, the device will spit out particles which will offer an eight-second-long stream of an artificial shooting star.

Japan on Friday sent the world's first artificial meteor shower into space, said media reports.

The Epsilon-4 is the next-generation solid fuel rocket, which uses the cutting-edge technologies in order to improve the operation performance and to reduce costs.

The satellite was carried by an Epsilon-4 rocket launched into space yesterday (Friday) morning from the Uchinoura Space Centre in southern Kagoshima prefecture by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Even though it will be artificial, the light generated should be spectacular and even be bright enough to be visible in areas with heavy light pollution, according to the company.

The rocket carried a total of seven ultra-small satellites.

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Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstoration-1 is a suite of seven small satellite missions.

There are 400 tiny balls on the satellite.

Ale Boss Lena Okajima was thrilled by the successful launch into space: "Now the real work starts", she told the Japanese news Agency Jiji Press. Ltd plans to deliver its first out-of-this-world show over Hiroshima in the spring of 2020.

The satellites were developed by private-sector companies and universities.

When its two satellites are in orbit, they can be used separately or in tandem, and will be programmed to eject the balls at the right location, speed and direction to put on a show for viewers on the ground.

According to the JAXA fact sheet, the cubesat will also explore whether this type of artificial meteor shower particle can help researchers learn about conditions in the upper atmosphere.

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