Japan has a plan to launch the first “wooden” satellite in 2023. The team behind its development seeks to use environmentally friendly and low-cost materials for space development using wood.
The satellite’s hood is completely made of wood and the logic behind it is that the word will burn off completely during reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. As a result it should put far lesser impact on the environment.
Additionally, it will cost less to build than aluminum, the most popular satellite material. Since electromagnetic waves penetrate wood, the satellite could include an antenna within.
The university run by the state in western Japan and the Tokyo-based wooden products company is preparing to test the strength for wood when it is in orbit, perhaps in February, with an extravehicular apparatus of International Space Station.
The team working on the project is led by non other than Takao Dai who is a Japanese astronaut. The team also wants to learn about the degradation of the material so they’ll expose it to space for about nine months.
Doi, an instructor specializing in program development at Kyoto University, said if this plan is successful, it could pave the direction of “allowing even children who are interested in space to make a satellite.”
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