A rocket carrying a satellite on a mission to deliver the world’s first artificial meteor shower blasted into space on Friday, Japanese scientists said. A start-up based in Tokyo developed the micro-satellite for the celestial show over Hiroshima early next year as the initial experiment for what it calls a “shooting stars on demand” service. The satellite is to release tiny balls that glow brightly as they hurtle through the atmosphere, simulating a meteor shower. It hitched a ride on the small-size Epsilon-4 rocket that was launched from the Uchinoura space centre by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Friday morning. The rocket is carrying a total of seven ultra-small satellites that will demonstrate various “innovative” technologies, said JAXA spokesman Nobuyoshi Fujimoto. By around noon on Friday, the first of the seven satellites had been successfully sent into orbit, he added, with JAXA officials waiting for signals to confirm the fate of the other six. The company behind the artificial meteor shower plan, ALE Co. Ltd, plans to deliver its first out-of-this-world show over Hiroshima in the spring of 2020. The satellite launched Friday carries 400 tiny balls whose chemical formula is a closely-guarded secret. That should be enough… Read full this story
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