Human-made shooting stars offer large-scale spectacle for live space entertainment and global tourism industry

Press release 5月 17, 2023

MAY 17, 2023 – LONDON, UK – Space technology company ALE today announced its plans to offer governments, municipalities and the global tourism industry the next generation of live space entertainment, via its spectacular human-made shooting star project, SKY CANVAS.

By transforming the night sky into a showcase for human-made shooting stars, SKY CANVAS offers live, sustainable space entertainment on an unprecedented scale. Using ALE’s proprietary technology that enables satellites to create shooting stars, governments, municipalities, live events organizers and global tourist hotspots will soon be able to offer visitors over a wide area of up to 200km a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to marvel at this stunning new sight at the same time.

For example, human-made shooting stars can be used as content to enhance large-scale events. They may also serve as content for regional revitalization. Just as the Northern Lights attract and draw tourists, human-made shooting stars will become a travel destination themselves, bringing more visitors and boosting tourism to the areas where they are displayed.

“Since the dawn of time, we’ve looked at the stars in wonder and awe,” explains Dr. Lena Okajima, founder and CEO of ALE. “We’ve used them to navigate and discover new lands. Even today, if we are lucky enough to see a shooting star, we make a wish. And now, for the first time, we will soon be able to share one of the most elusive, beautiful and incredible phenomena in our universe, because we can create shooting stars.

“Our team of engineers and scientists create shooting stars using special material launched from our satellites far above earth at your given location and time. The sky becomes your stage. There is no debris or noise, and sustainability is a key driving force. We will put you at the forefront of a new frontier: space entertainment.”

Planetary scientist Dr Patrick Michel, Director of Research at the French Scientific Research National Center (CNRS) and leader of the Theories and Observations in Planetology (TOP) team at the Côte d’Azur Observatory comments:

“In addition to being able to unleash the power and wonder of shooting stars, ALE’s phenomenal SKY CANVAS project is considerably more than space entertainment ‘just’ for entertainment’s sake. ALE’s satellites will release the company’s proprietary meteor particles into the mesosphere, and these particles will then emit light at altitudes of between 60 and 80 kilometers above Earth.

“The ‘space entertainment’ business being pioneered by ALE will lead to a lot of curiosity and interest in space and science. And the scientific benefits which will come from being able to observe, study and analyze human-made shooting stars will help to advance our knowledge about natural shooting stars.”

ALE CEO, Dr. Lena Okajima adds: “As Dr. Patrick Michel points out, human-made shooting stars have value in both entertainment and science. When deploying human-made shooting stars as entertainment, atmospheric data obtained could potentially help decipher climate change mechanisms and improve weather forecasting accuracy as well. I conceived the idea of human-made shooting stars during my university days as a means to contribute to the advancement of fundamental science. I am thrilled that we will soon be able to make this concept a reality.”

ALE plans to launch next satellite the ALE-3 in late 2024, and the company will realize the very first public SKY CANVAS event in 2025.

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How does SKY CANVAS work?

ALE’s proprietary technology recreates natural shooting stars. Natural shooting stars, or meteors, emit light due to the aerodynamic heating of small dust particles when they travel through Earth’s atmosphere at very high speed. ALE recreate this phenomenon by accurately releasing particles that become shooting stars from its satellites when they enter Earth’s atmosphere.

First, meteor-replicating particles are installed into one of its satellites. Then, by controlling the position, speed, and timing of the meteor particles, the human-made shooting stars emit light in the sky at a designated location anywhere in the world. Allowing people all over the earth to enjoy this rare, beautiful, celestial experience.

How does SKY CANVAS enable sustainable climate and environment science?

Climate change action is the most urgent issue facing humanity today. Climate-related disasters have doubled in 20 years, with various other environmental problems emerging such as the impact of climate change on ecosystems. Currently there are limitations on the area of atmospheric data that can be acquired. The basis of climate research is global environmental data, but the ‘mesosphere’ has not been adequately observed, to date, in atmospheric data. This is because the mesosphere is too high for airplanes and balloons, yet too low for satellites.

Studying the path and light emission of SKY CANVAS’s human-made shooting stars will enable ALE to collect new atmospheric data (including wind speed, atmospheric composition and more), with a view to addressing climate change and contributing to weather models. Atmospheric data in the mesosphere from shooting star orbits and emissions have the potential to provide valuable insights into the unknowns of climate and weather. Although it is difficult to acquire data with existing observation methods, with human-made shooting stars, the location and timing of their flow can be determined in advance, and SKY CANVAS will acquire and provide data through observation.

About Dr. Lena Okajima
Dr. Lena Okajima is the founder and CEO of ALE, which she founded in 2011. Prior to ALE, Lena worked at Goldman Sachs Japan. Before Goldman Sachs Japan, she established a science and entertainment company while attending the University of Tokyo and served as its CEO. Lena holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Tokyo.

About ALE Co, Ltd.
ALE’s mission is to “Make space closer. For all of us. Together.”
ALE is a space startup company started by Dr. Lena Okajima in 2011 to create the world’s first human-made shooting star. One of the driving forces of ALE is the passion to contribute towards the development of science.
Address: 2-11-8 Shibadaimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0012, Japan
CEO: Dr. Lena Okajima
Established: 1st September 2011
Nature of Business: Space Entertainment (SKY CANVAS), Atmospheric Data