Tokyo-based ALE Co., Ltd. (ALE), led by CEO Lena Okajima, with the mission to make space closer for people, is pleased to announce the completion of ALE-3’s Engineering Model in March 2023. ALE plans to launch ALE-3 in late 2024, aiming to realize the world's first human-made shooting star in 2025. Details about the launch rocket and initial event will be announced as required.
■Key Specifications of ALE-3 (tentatively)
◇Shooting star capacity: 1,000 particles (with plans to commercially utilize 900 particles)
◇Mission equipment: meteor release device
◇Dimensions: 812 x 812 x 1300 mm
◇Mass: 200 kg
The shooting star particle loading capacity of ALE-3 has been increased compared to the previous satellites (the first and second satellites each loaded 400 particles).
■Features of ALE-3's Development
For ALE-3, the company has reviewed the entire design of the meteor release device in light of problems encountered with our second satellite and updated the design to enhance its reliability. ALE has also strengthened our in-house development team by increasing the number of experts in various fields, enabling us to further improve the quality of design, manufacturing, and verification. ALE is leveraging the knowledge gained from the launch and orbital operations of the first and second satellites in the development of ALE-3 and is committed to a more reliable development process. As with the first and second satellites, ALE continues to collaborate with Tohoku University, which possesses extensive expertise. Furthermore, both the satellite and shooting star particles are designed with consideration for the environment.
■Business Using human-made Shooting Stars
1) Space Entertainment Business "SKY CANVAS"
"SKY CANVAS" is a space entertainment business that paints the night sky, offering an extraordinary experience with the world’s first human-made shooting stars that can be seen from locations around the world(*). Human-made shooting stars will provide people with an emotional experience beyond the barriers of language and culture and allow them to enjoy the space.
Human-made shooting stars can be used in various events and promotions, such as sports tournaments, music events, and corporate promotional events. They are also expected to be utilized as tourism content, such as attractions at theme parks and cruises, or as content for regional promotion (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).
2) Atmospheric Data Business
By using human-made shooting stars, ALE aims to obtain high-frequency atmospheric data that has been particularly elusive in the past. This will enable us to contribute to the improvement of weather forecast accuracy and help unravel the mechanisms behind climate change.
Human-made shooting stars illuminate in the mesosphere (60-80 km above the ground). This is observed with special cameras and instruments to collect atmospheric data. Because the material and speed of the human-made shooting stars are pre-determined, we can use them as a reference to measure various data. The mesosphere has not been adequately observed because the mesosphere is too high for airplanes and balloons, yet too low for satellites. By obtaining this valuable data using human-made shooting stars, ALE aims to contribute to improving weather forecast accuracy and revealing the mechanisms of climate change.
With the development of ALE-3, ALE aims to achieve the world's first human-made shooting star and create a new space entertainment, while significantly advancing research and contributing to science.
*Permits and approval will be needed from designated local authorities and necessary government and non-governmental entities. It may not be available in certain areas, due to satellite orbit.