Japan's LED-stacked cubesat will burn Morse code into the heavens
News On Japan via engadget.com -- Oct 06
If you thought cloud writing was cool, then how about a message from space burnt into the night sky? A group of unassuming cubesats recently left the comfort of the ISS and joined Earth's orbit -- among them was FITSAT-1 (aka Niwaka), a four-inch-cubed Japanese satellite covered in high-powered LEDs.
Its mission is to broadcast the message "Hi this is Niwaka Japan" in Morse code, using bursts of intense light to draw dots and dashes across the heavens. FITSAT-1 was originally planned to appear only over Japan, but a flurry of interest means it'll be touring the globe, starting next month. It'll also find time for its studies, beaming VGA images snapped with an onboard camera back to Earth, to test a high-speed data transmitter.
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2012 was 27,858, dropping below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years, the Cabinet Office said in a white paper on Tuesday. The figure was 2,800 fewer than in 2011. (Japan Today )
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )