While one satellite will try to create artificial shooting stars, another will test transmission equipment and cameras made from commercial parts. The second launch took place in late 2016 while the third Epsilon launch vehicle lifted off in January 2018.
The launch by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) of the Epsilon-4 rocket, from Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, is the first since new rules were set in November to promote private-sector space development activities.
Meteor Showers can be a lovely thing to witness, but in order to see one, you have to get your timing just right.
The rocket carried a total of seven ultra-small satellites.
With demand growing globally for small satellites, JAXA hopes its Epsilon rockets that are specially created to carry such satellites at a lower cost will attract orders from other companies like ALE.
By early afternoon, JAXA confirmed all seven satellites had successfully been launched into orbit. ALE chief executive Lena Okajima while speaking to media said that first ever artificial meteor show will be witnessed by Hiroshima because of its good climate and cultural assets.
In the interior of the satellites are 400 small balls - they are about an inch tall. "I feel like now the hard work is ahead". 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.
When its two satellites are in orbit, they can be used separately or in tandem, and will be programmed to eject the balls at the right location, speed and direction to put on a show for viewers on the ground.
Called the Sky Canvas Project, the showers should be visible to millions of people across an area extending for 125 miles.
The western Japan city rose from the ashes after the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing and faces the Seto Inland sea where the floating gate of Itsukushima Shrine is.
The price for an artificial meteor shower was not announced. The company is also working with scientists at Japanese universities as well as the officials from the government.