This Startup Wants to Create a Man-Made Meteor Shower for the Tokyo Olympics

This Startup Wants to Create a Man-Made Meteor Shower for the Tokyo Olympics

In 1974, then First Lady Imelda Marcos stopped a typhoon from ruining the coronation of the Miss Universe pageant, which was held in Manila. Her husband Ferdinand Marcos deployed the Philippine Air Force to seed surrounding clouds to stop rain clouds from forming.

Now, another country wants to control the skies. Japanese startup company Star-ALE wants to create a man-made meteor shower for the Tokyo Olympics, which will be held in 2020.

The service is called Sky Canvas, and will use special pellets called source particles, which will be deployed in space through microsatellites. Each microsatellite can carry 500 to 1,000 pellets, which will ignite when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a meteor shower effect. The light show can be seen from 120 miles.

The pellets were developed by a team led by aerospace engineering associate professor Shinsuke Abe at Nihon University. It was especially developed to fight Tokyo’s light pollution. The Olympics don’t need to worry about a cloudy sky, as the display can be called off 100 minutes before the launch.

Each artificial star costs a million yen (roughly P424,836.87), excluding expenses for development and launch.

The Tokyo Olympics is four years away, but Star-ALE will start launching its series of microsatellites with a special kind of pyrotechnics in 2017.

Watch a promotional video below:

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