Forget fireworks; they’re so last century!
This year’s Independence Day celebrations included a multicolor shower of shooting stars – in glorious red, white and blue; and gold.
Commissioned by POTUS, but launched from a private micro-satellite, the meteor shower filled the skies above Washington DC, where Independence Day parades and celebrations went on long into the night.
“Traditional fireworks are noisy and dangerous; they scare pets and create fire hazards,” said Katy Chang of SkyBurst. “Shooting stars are silent and can be seen for dozens of miles around!”
Hundreds of tiny meteoroids are ejected in sequence from a small satellite; the different chemical elements in each ensure they produce the dazzling array of colors, as they burn up on re-entry into the atmosphere.
It’s a triumph of technical wizardry, made possible by the plummeting cost of space launches. Companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have brought space into the realm of private enterprise; not only for communications and travel, but now also for live entertainment.
A significant portion of the budget for tonight’s shooting stars display was provided by the State Department. It’s not only a question of national pride and showcasing innovation – as any military strategist will tell you, if you control the heavens, you control the world.
“God bless America!” the crowd was whispering, and shouting, as the shooting stars burst overhead.