Japanese firm to launch wedding plaques into space

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Kibo space module on the ISSImage copyright NASA
Image caption The Japanese Experiment Module aboard the International Space Station is known colloquially as «Kibo»

A Japanese company is offering newlyweds a novel way of showing that their love is eternal: by blasting wedding plaques with their names on into space.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the Warpspace start-up in the city of Tsukuba is working with Kibo, Japan’s orbital science module, to launch wedding plaques from the International Space Station.

The company, which is largely staffed by faculty members from the University of Tsubuka, says that it will engrave couples’ names, messages, and other information on titanium plaques, measuring some 16 millimetres by eight millimetres.

The plaques will then be loaded onto miniature cubic satellites, which can hold several hundred plaques, and be released into orbit. They will join the tens of thousands of satellites, man-made objects and space junk already orbiting the Earth.

Astronauts will take photos of the plaques being released and send them to the couples.

Explaining the reason behind the company, Warpspace’s president Toshihiro Kameda tells Yomiuri Shimbun: «I hope couples will think about space and pledge their infinite love to each other.»

Warpspace says it will carry out its first launch in 2019. The cost of the service is 30,000 Japanese Yen (£205; $270) and is exclusively offered to couples who marry at Tsukuba’s Okura Frontier Hotel.

Image copyright John S Lander
Image caption It is common for Japanese newlyweds to make wedding plaques — Warpspace’s titanium ones (not pictured) will help couples’ messages be long lasting

Reporting by Kerry Allen

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