Hachune Miku Figure to Ride Rocket from Nevada This Month
posted on by Egan Loo
Not-So-Daily Link of the Day: A figure of Hachune Miku, the super-deformed version of the voice-synthesized virtual idol Hatsune Miku, is set to launch aboard a rocket from the United States this month. A group of technicians who came together on the Nico Nico Douga video-sharing website developed the Social Media Satellite Development Project (SOMESAT, formerly HAXA). The rocket launch is part of the eXtreme Performance Rocket Ships (XPRS) contest that will take place at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada from September 18 to 21. Although SOMESAT's eventual aim is a satellite in space, this month's XPRS launch is only expected reach an altitude of about two kilometers (1.2 miles), well below the lowest internationally accepted "boundary" of space (80-100 kilometers or 50-63 miles).
The Hachune Miku figure will nevertheless showcase technology being developed for the space environment; it will use an electronic mechanism to "wave" its signature green onion sprout during the flight. The team posted a Nico Nico Douga video of the mechanism and the Hachune Miku figure from a previous flight. (The website requires viewers to register for free in Japanese.)
Manga and anime pioneer Leiji Matsumoto (Galaxy Express 999, Space Battleship Yamato, Space Pirate Captain Harlock) presented his own video message of support on Nico Nico Douga. Matsumoto has been a longtime supporter of Japanese space initiatives and has been chairing the Young Astronauts Club of Japan. As part of that youth science group, Matsumoto helped put together a new Galaxy Express 999 anime short about the home of Japan's space center; the short will debut on Wednesday (September 9, 2009 or 09/09/09).
Source: ITmedia News