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Japan's Epsilon rocket to lift off with satellites

Japan's Epsilon rocket to lift off with satellites

Japan makes history with the launch of seven spacecraft into space, one of which is a mini-satellite that can create phenomenal artificial meteor showers.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, Japan's 24-meter-tall Epsilon rocket successfully lifted off for the fourth time from JAXA Uchinoura Space Center in Japan since its maiden voyage in 2013.

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.

Following Friday morning's launch, the 150-pound ALE-1 satellite separated from the rocket around 310 miles above earth and will gradually descend to an altitude of 248 miles over the coming year. "I feel like now the hard work is ahead".

There are 400 tiny balls on the satellite. 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.

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The company plans to launch a second satellite on a private-sector rocket in mid-2019.

The satellites are programmed to ejects the balls at the right location.

Called the Sky Canvas Project, the showers should be visible to millions of people across an area extending for 125 miles. Okajima has said her company chose Hiroshima for its first display because of its good weather, landscape and cultural assets.

ALE is working in collaboration with scientists and engineers at Japanese universities as well as local government officials and corporate sponsors. One of the specialties that the rocket will perform, is a demonstration of a man-made meteor shower (an artificial meteor shower) for several research purposes, according to the reports.