My own personal meteor shower

While staying up waiting for the Leonids meteor shower I got to wondering. Could I make my own meteor shower? How much would it cost to send a pound of sand into space and could it be accurately delivered (night-time, visible in southern Ohio at midnight)?

Or maybe an astronaut could take a balloon full of sand up to space and pitch it off the ISS in the general direction of earth?


Im sure its possible, but it would cost you the weight of the “sand” in diamonds. Interesting idea though.

A typical shuttle mission cost appx. 450 million. Also, the sand won’t get up to the speed needed to burn up like you want.
Meteors are coming in from deep space/elsewhere in the solar system and are moving at around 20-25,000mph ( or more).

Isn’t it more that the Earth is moving that fast and slamming into them? The ISS moves at about 17,000mph relative to the Earth’s surface, so presumably if you threw sand off it then it would enter the atmosphere at that speed, give or take?

So one rocket to get it out of atmosphere then another one to turn it around and accelerate it back to earth? I wonder how irritated the various governments would be by this stunt. Lots of details to work out here before I show up on the “Shark Tank” looking to fund my new business.

You can put a three-pound cube sat into orbit for just $40k. With sufficiently precise guidance and enough propulsion, you might be able to put your pound of sand in orbit and get it to re-enter wherever you want. That might require a larger three-cube unit, and a bit smaller payload… half pound of sand on a ten pound satellite seems entirely doable.

It is the speed of these sand particles that make the difference. Meteor showers are the left over grains and marbles from the wake of periodic comets.

The comet has it’s own velocity and then there is the speed of the Earth as it intercepts these particles.

I don’t think you are going to get much of a meteor shower by lobbing a few pounds of sand into orbit, you also have to really speed that sand up.

But the sand would be moving parallel(almost) to the Earth’s surface. It’s vertical rate of fall would be much less and it’s path through the upper atmosphere would be very long, giving the sand time to slow down before burning up.

Right, but that’s a problem that can be solved with more rockets. Once you have your payload in LEO, you can use a rocket to “brake” and put it in a much steeper descent. Or if that’s not enough for you, a larger rocket could put your pound of sand into a higher orbit, and then “brake” from a much higher altitude so it hits the atmosphere at greater velocity.

Thus, a 10 lb cube sat could carry 1 lb of sand, 1 lb of guidance thingumies, and 8 lbs of rocket to make the sand come down in a sufficiently entertaining manner. If that doesn’t work, just put your sand in a 100 lb rocket that hitches a ride to LEO on another launch vehicle. I’ll leave the actual orbital calculations as an exercise to the reader…

Is there any problem that can’t be solved with more rockets?

The problem of having too many rockets? :stuck_out_tongue:

Not at all - just blast those suckers off into space using rockets. :smiley:

So it’s rockets all the way up?