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Earth Science

Japanese Startup Wants To Rain Down Man-Made Meteor For Tokyo Olympics (sciencealert.com) 106

A startup called Star-ALE wants to create a man-made meteor shower over the city of Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics opening ceremonies. The pyrotechnics show, Star-ALE says, will be visible from an area 200km across Japan, and the pyrotechnics will actually shower from space. Starting next year, Star-ALE will begin sending a fleet of microsatellites carrying 500 to 1000 specially-developed pellets that ignite and intensely glow as they re-enter the earth's atmosphere. ScienceAlert reports: But wonderment comes at a cost, and in this case, that cost isn't cheap. Each combustible pellet comes in at about $8,100 to produce, and that's not including the costs involved in actually launching the Sky Canvas satellite. The company has tested its source particles in the lab, using a vacuum chamber and hot gases to simulate the conditions the pellets would encounter upon re-entering Earth's atmosphere. In its testing, the particles burn with an apparent magnitude of -1, which should ensure they're clearly visible in the night sky, even in the polluted skyline of a metropolis like Tokyo.
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Japanese Startup Wants To Rain Down Man-Made Meteor For Tokyo Olympics

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  • And the year after that, they'll do it over the USA.

    • Yeah, I reckon the dear leader will totally love such a display of imperialist pig-dog aggression against the prosperous & peaceful people's republic.

  • How sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2016 @04:04AM (#52158767)

    It saddens my heart to see the billions spent on these sporting events that today have nothing to do with the spirit of the events but everything to do with bolstering ego's of politicians and piss away money. Imagine if this kind of money was used to build infrastructure, provide solutions for clean water and food where needed, I imagine that would be a world less stricken by suffering, poverty and war. It would be a world with fewer refugee crisis as people generally like to live where thwy were born, and if the resources for a decent life existed migration would be for the few adventurous souls rather than for the suffering masses... wake up!!!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why do you think the billions that are spent on sporting events would otherwise be used to help refugees? It makes no sense to assume that any of this would be allocated to helping anyone but the politicians currently using it to bolster their egos

      • Re: How sad (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2016 @04:58AM (#52158855)

        I really enjoy the sports at the Olympics, but I don't care for the excess. A big part of Greece's financial issues go back to the tremendous amount of public debt from hosting the Olympics in 2004. Priority should be given to cities that already have much of the required infrastructure instead of building it. There also needs to be a plan for how any new venues will be used in the future. In addition to being more financially responsible, it would be more environmentally friendly and produce less waste.

        • Bad Moderatiom (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Why is this post at -1? These are legitimate issues that have been raised by many people.

          I'll again cite this article: http://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/a-dark-olympic-legacy-for-greece/news-story/8dcf6d1e8df9fe2e0f93ff12e74b1b72 [news.com.au].

          The article notes that Sydney fared much better with the costs of hosting the Summer Olympics because they had plans to continue using the venues they built, even after the Olympics were over. They brought in additional revenue which helped to offset the costs. The Olympic S

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] The US held it, only in existing stadiums. I saw a game in a stadium built in 1930. I can't say the games were held only in old stadiums, but I can say none were held in purpose built stadiums.

            Despite the complaints that the US wasn't a football country, that world cup had the highest attendance. It should have come back to the US before it went to Qatar or Brazil. But it needs to bring the economic "benefits" to the 3rd world, where it's economic penalty, not benefit
          • For every mention of why do something good when situation x results in that goodness being diminished, I answer "Because that is the sort of person I want to be."
          • I don't disagree at all with your point about Greece, there's no doubt the Olympics sucked an awful lot of money out of Greece, but Sydney is not that much better.

            The main stadium was going to be a new, large venue for Rugby and Rugby League matches, but it's way too big, and looks awful on TV when it's a quarter full.

            The Sydney Swans AFL team was supposed to play some of their home matches there, but it turns out the stadium is so far away from the fans, that they just won't go, and so the Swans have end

        • The problem isn't building infrastructure providing it makes sense to do so. The problem is building infrastructure which has a sole purpose for supporting the games. There are just as many examples of good infrastructure upgrades as there are bad ones.

          My local university used the competitor housing and running track from former commonwealth games as a running track and dorm rooms for students.
          Austria finally built a subway station to their stadium for the FIFA world cup which served as a platform to contin

        • Building a volleyball stadium 10 minutes from the beach was a new low for Olympic excess.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        "Why do you think the billions that are spent on sporting events would otherwise be used to help refugees?"

        He doesn't.

        Saw the part about "it saddens my heart" and "wake up"?

        Not too much reading comprehension, do you?

    • Re:How sad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eyenot ( 102141 ) <eyenot@hotmail.com> on Sunday May 22, 2016 @04:22AM (#52158793) Homepage

      If you think money solves the world's worst problems, you've lived with a lack of one of two things:

      * that kind of money

      * any understanding of what's actually causing those kinds of problems

      You can't just throw "money" at drugs, poverty, disease, hunger, and despair, and expect them to go away.

      In most cases, the money you're throwing goes directly into the hands of people who do the most harm with the most money.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You can't just throw "money" at drugs, poverty, disease, hunger, and despair, and expect them to go away.

        Sure you can! Money directly fixes poverty, money buys food and medicine and high quality drugs, and with all those problems solved then despair suddenly vanishes. See your trouble is you just haven't tried the really high quality drugs yet.

        • by dillee1 ( 741792 )

          I will try to help the grandparent explain why money alone won't solve the aforementioned.
          1) In 3rd world country the government is so corrupted, your donation/materials will just end up being profits of politicians/warlords. Africa is great example of this.
          In order for your money to get useful things done, you will need governance/overseeing power in a lot of local issue. And without military/police force you can't govern anything.
          TLDR, you need British colonial style ruling if you actually want to help th

          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            In which case money buys the required legal infrastructure to pursue and prosecute the corrupt. Unfortunately what is happening in those cases is money is buying the means of corruption and that money is being provided by western corporations who reap the lions or is that the vultures share of that corruption and this often backed by the corrupt western governments that are the source of those corrupt corporations. Do not expect western governments to solve the corruption that they facilitate at the behest

      • Re: How sad (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Greece would be in a better position to handle the influx of refugees if they weren't in a ridiculous amount of debt. Life in Greece would be much better off in general without the debt. A lot of that debt came from hosting the 2004 Olympics. In this case, Greece funded the Olympics with money they didn't have and might well not have otherwise been spent.

        • Bad Moderation (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I made the above comment in good faith, as I did with a similar comment elsewhere in this thread. Both are at -1.

          The effect of hosting the Olympics on Greek debt has been widely reported.
          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-08-02/how-the-2004-olympics-triggered-greeces-decline [bloomberg.com]
          http://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/a-dark-olympic-legacy-for-greece/news-story/8dcf6d1e8df9fe2e0f93ff12e74b1b72 [news.com.au]

          Furthermore, there are economic studies in the US that show that public subsidies for sports venues aren't wort

          • Re:Bad Moderation (Score:4, Insightful)

            by l0n3s0m3phr34k ( 2613107 ) on Sunday May 22, 2016 @06:36AM (#52159043)
            Stop posting as an AC, that would help tremendously.
          • Interesting links.

            So, the $7B that Greece spent on the Olympics pushed their debt to $273B, which was a major cause of their current economic woes?

            From where I sit, I'd think the other $266B of debt was the real problem, not the (relative) pittance they spent on the Olympics.

            • They _expected_ to make back the money in increased business and tourism. They didn't So the difference was between an expectation of roughly $300 billion/year, and $250 billion per year. It's often the difference between expected income and costs, and real income and costs, that bankrupt a person or a nation.

      • Re:How sad (Score:4, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday May 22, 2016 @06:02AM (#52158977) Homepage Journal

        You can't just throw "money" at drugs, poverty, disease, hunger, and despair, and expect them to go away.

        You can just throw money at poverty and at least thereby improve the people's lot. It's a better stimulus plan than virtually anything else, because if you give the money directly to people they will usually spend at least a portion of it locally and that also stimulates the economy.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

          You can just throw money at poverty and at least thereby improve the people's lot.

          Nope. But the slumlords they live under will profit well from it. That's the problem with throwing money at the problem. So many have already positioned themselves to profit from the misery of others, that they will actively work to prevent the money from getting to the needed locations and uses.

        • You can just throw money at poverty and at least thereby improve the people's lot.

          The number of lottery winners that end up going bankrupt seems to be a strong counter-argument to this.

      • "If you think money solves the world's worst problems..."

        If you think those problems do solve themselves without lots of money you also lack "any understanding of what's actually causing those kinds of problems"

        That they can't be solved "just throwing money" doesn't mean they don't require a lot of money thrown at them (oh, and by the way: poverty does solve itself just throwing money at it, by its own very definition).

      • by Livius ( 318358 )

        Indiscriminately throwing money at problems doesn't create solutions, it creates well-funded problems.

      • Re:How sad (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Sunday May 22, 2016 @10:13AM (#52159549)

        You can't just throw "money" at drugs, poverty, disease, hunger, and despair, and expect them to go away. In most cases, the money you're throwing goes directly into the hands of people who do the most harm with the most money.

        Strangely enough, you can just throw money directly into the hands of the people who suffer poverty and hunger (rather than the middle-men) and it does actually seem to work. Here's an example from The Economist:

        http://www.economist.com/news/... [economist.com]

        "Now enough of these programmes are up and running to make a first assessment. Early results are encouraging: giving money away pulls people out of poverty, with or without conditions. Recipients of unconditional cash do not blow it on booze and brothels, as some feared. Households can absorb a surprising amount of cash and put it to good use. But conditional cash transfers still seem to work better when the poor face an array of problems beyond just a shortage of capital."

        (I remember another funny quote from someone but can't find it just now, along the lines "The common characteristic of the poor is they don't have money, and it turns out that by giving them money we can change that.")

        • You can't just throw "money" at drugs, poverty, disease, hunger, and despair, and expect them to go away.

          Strangely enough, you can just throw money directly into the hands of the people who suffer poverty and hunger (rather than the middle-men) and it does actually seem to work.

          You're correct - it seems to work. And if I take painkillers, my back pain seems to go away. But in neither case do the actual causes go away - while handouts break the cycle of despair it replaces it with a cycle of dependency.

          • What's a cycle of depndency actually mean to you? It seems meaningless to me.

            First, we're all dependent on on another (no man is an island, etc. etc.)

            Second, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that people stop working.

            Third, and most importantly, why is a cycle of dependency worse than the status quo?

            • What's a cycle of depndency actually mean to you? It seems meaningless to me.

              Is English not your primary language, or are you just stupid? Words mean things, and if you don't understand what dependency means then use a dictionary.

              Second, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that people stop working.

              Had I claimed people stopped working, you'd have a point. But I didn't. So kindly reply to what I wrote rather than what you wish to pontificate about, or just go away.

              Third, and most importan

              • I asked what you meant by a vague term, and what you thought a "cycle of dependency" would look like. And how it might be created. I posited one such mechanism, but apparently that wasn't at all what you claimed.

                So, what do you mean?

    • by kuzb ( 724081 )

      Actually it's about boosting economies. Sporting events like this draw people from all over the world who in turn spend their money there. Local businesses turn a huge profit during the Olympics.

    • The problem is that right now the olympics is so centered around national (for the United States is is closer to State Pride) pride, where each host country is trying to show look at us we are relevant in world affairs.
      However when it is hosted in a rich country like the United States and many european countries , we are able to spend money on grandiose effects, as the infrastructure is already there and has cities that can deal with hosting such events.
      Smaller countries cannot, and they really need more e

    • But an Olympics extravaganza is a microcosm of stimulus spending by government. All that money is not heaped in a pile and lit on fire, even the money used for the meteor shower the article is about. All that money goes towards jobs and construction. That throwing tax money into construction and related jobs turns out to be an inefficient, if not outright failed, way to stimulate prosperity should be no surprise to anyone except a Keynesian.

      • > All that money goes towards jobs and construction.

        It does not. Much of the money goes to security, advertising, and the relentless "studies" that form such a large part of large scale projects. And much of the money is effectively stolen. Between contractors deliberately lowballing their bids and demanding unplanned budget increases to complete partial work, to human trafficking in workmen to do the actual hands-on construction, to the fraudulent ticketing practices of the 2002 Olympics, there is a lar

    • It saddens my heart to see the billions spent on these sporting events

      We need to keep the jocks amused until we crack genetic engineering - they're a gold mine of genomic data.

  • Earth could be headed for "hard times" in terms of incoming fragments, bolides, comets, and other giant dead space things, both solar and galactic. Why not open those panels of our social camera obscurae?

    Even if these possible events are lifetimes away (which they may or may not be, not like anybody can say for absolutely sure -- hence why there are pleas for public funding to become better equipped to detect and to prevent collisions with near-Earth objects) this light show doesn't have to actually represe

  • Dont worry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nukenerd ( 172703 )

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday May 22, 2016 @06:48AM (#52159057)

    should ensure they're clearly visible in the night sky, even in the polluted skyline of a metropolis like Tokyo.

    Unless it's cloudy.

  • Project Thor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] got commercialized?

  • Artificial meteors? They can call me if they need help on where to aim them.

  • After the Charlie Foxtrot that Brazil is going to be, I think just providing basic sanitation, clean water, and a reasonable crime rate would be plenty to offer...
  • Cool pellets, what do they do? They drop from space and burn. How much do they cost? Each pellet costs $8,100. Fuck those pellets!
  • that's exactly what we need, more junk in the lower orbit in space.. Better just pocket the money and use it to try and suppress the polution over tokyo itself..
  • Seems to me they had 2 large "meteor" like objects during the 40's that wiped out a couple towns. You would think they wouldn't want anything falling from the sky towards their towns town. What's next? Godzilla!

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