08.24.2018

Sky Canvas: Shooting Stars on Demand

How many shooting stars haveyou seen in your life?There is always something romantic and transient about it, even when you fail to make a wish. What if it were possible to experience that piece of magic at will, with the aid of science?

  • Sky Canvas: Shooting Stars on Demand
  • Sky Canvas: Shooting Stars on Demand
  • Sky Canvas: Shooting Stars on Demand
  • Sky Canvas: Shooting Stars on Demand
  • Sky Canvas: Shooting Stars on Demand

Tokyo-basedstart-up company ALE is preparing to take science and entertainment to a new level and paint the night sky with manufactured shooting stars: this is the Sky Canvas Project. ALE creates artificial shooting stars by sending micro-satellitesinto space. These artificial satellites will release pelletsmade with a special material which burns entering the atmosphere, creating the effect of shooting stars visible to the naked eyeover an area 200 kilometresin diameter.
 
Dr Lena Okajima is the founder and CEO of ALE. A Tottori-native, after completing a Ph.D. in astronomy at he University of Tokyo, she worked in bond investment and private equity at Goldman Sachs Japanand, in 2009, she founded two companies, an online gaming company and a business consulting company. During her time at the online gaming company, Dr Okajima was selected as a member of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) open lab. In 2011, she founded the world’s firstspace entertainment company, ALE Co.,Ltd, whose operations are scheduled to begin by the end of 2018, with the cooperation of four Japanese institutes. Others members of the ALE team include space engineers involved in research on space robots.
 
ALE stands for “Astro Live Experiences”. The mission of the Sky Canvas Project is to contribute to the development of science and knowledge about the universe, bymeans of an unprecedented,shared experience of entertainment, featuring the world’s fist artificial meteor shower.
 
Scientists at ALE hope to reach a better understanding of the mechanics of naturally occurring shooting stars and meteorites,by studying the path of artificial shooting stars where the angle of incidence, velocity and materials are known.Furthermore, by studying the path and mechanics of their artificial shooting star particles passing through the upper atmosphere, Dr Okajima and her team intend to contribute to scientific understanding of the upper atmosphere,which so far has few means of observation and remains one of the least understood portions of the atmosphere. Two launches are being prepared.The first satellite is scheduled tobe launched into space by JAXA by March 2019.The second will be launched in mid-2019 on a privately sponsoredrocket.
 

Author : The Slowear Journal

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