First man-made shooting star satellite successfully lowers its altitude

2022.09.29 (Thu)

Tokyo-based ALE Co., Ltd.(ALE), led by its CEO Lena Okajima, with the mission to make space closer to people, would like to inform the public that the first man-made shooting star satellite launched 18th January 2019, completed its mission to lower its altitude.

ALE-1, the 1st satellite jointly developed by ALE and National University Corporation Tohoku University (Tohoku University) to try to create a man-made shooting star, was launched on 18th January 2019 on the JAXA Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration - 1 (Epsilon Rocket No. 4) with six other satellites and was put into orbit at an altitude of about 500km. The operating altitude for releasing particles to create man-made shooting stars is targeted for about 400km, thus the satellite  needed to lower its altitude 100km to its operational altitude. A thin film orbit release device, DOM®: De-Orbit Mechanism® (*1, DOM®), jointly developed with Nakashimada Engineering Works, Ltd. and Tohoku University, attached to the satellite was used to lower the altitude gradually using atmospheric drag. 

ALE-1 finally reached the target altitude of 400km on 21st July 2022.  DOM® was detached from the satellite and the mission to lower the altitude of the satellite was completed on 27th July 2022.

During the technical validation, we found some malfunction with the satellite in order to release a particle of a man-made shooting star. A thorough investigation is now in progress.

*DOM® and De-Orbit Mechanism® are registered trademarks of Nakashimada Engineering Works, Ltd. (Yame-gun, Fukuoka Prefecture).
*Related Press Release (First man-made shooting star satellite begins mission to lower its altitude)

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