The private space industry is becoming an increasingly hot topic in science and technology. Leading the charge is one Japanese company boasting a compelling new proposal: made-to-order meteor showers. If you're an avid stargazer and happen to have a giant stack of cash just lying around, this service is just the thing for you.
Residents of Hiroshima, Japan, might get the opportunity to witness a spectacular outburst of blue, green and orange stars shooting across the sky. This will not be the work of Mother Nature, however. The display will instead come courtesy of Astro Live Experiences (ALE), the world's first company devoted to "aerospace entertainment."
Sound like science fiction? As ambitious as it may seem, the plan was recently made realistic by Lena Okajima, who earned her Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Tokyo. According to Okajima's plan, a spacecraft hovering near the city-of-choice will shower the region with 15 to 20 tiny metallic pebbles. From a distance, these reflective pods will appear to light up the sky as they fall to the Earth, mimicking natural meteor showers almost perfectly. Thanks to ALE's futuristic technology, on-demand meteor showers like this might soon become a publicly available service -- that is, if you have the money.
Unsurprisingly, ordering a handful of rocks to be rained down from space is going to cost a pretty penny. While he cannot yet cite a specific number, Josh Rodenbaugh, a representative of the company's satellite operations team, told BuzzFeed News that the price would likely rival that of large firework displays, which run about $40,000 per firework. This means that city councils, sports teams, amusement parks and other well-funded groups would serve as ALE's target market, though it would still theoretically be available to any individuals who could front the costs as well.
The project, called "Sky Canvas," will debut as soon as the summer of 2019 and paint the night sky.
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