Japan launches Epsilon-4 rocket with 7 satellites

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"Sky Canvas" satellite aiming to create Earth's 1st artificial meteor shower (VIDEOS) A Japanese startup is hoping to become the first organization in history to create an artificial meteor shower which will light up the skies on demand, more brightly than its natural competition.

On January 17, the Tokyo-based company ALE will send a spacecraft into orbit attached to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA)'s Epsilon Rocket #4.

The man-made meteor shower will be observable by up to six million people over an area of 200km wide.

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

With demand growing globally for small satellites, JAXA hopes to attract orders with its Epsilon rockets that are specially created to carry such satellites at a lower cost. The satellite launched Friday carries 400 tiny balls whose chemical formula is a closely-guarded secret.

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Epsilon-4 rocket carrying seven satellites launched successfully from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Friday.

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There's a new satellite was just launched into space, and it was put there to drop "meteors" over the city of Hiroshima. Of course, the Japanese firm target the profits, not any scientific achievements, so, if successful, anyone wealthy enough would be able to order an artificial shooting stars event.

The company plans to target "the whole world" with its celestial shows and will launch a second satellite on a private-sector rocket later this year.

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. Okajima has said her company chose Hiroshima for its first display because of its good weather, landscape and cultural assets.

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