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Japanese wooden satellite to tackle space debris


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In an effort to reduce litter in space, scientists in Japan have created the world's first satellite made of wood.


The biodegradable satellite is made of magnolia wood, which in experiments on the ISS proved to be particularly resistant to cracks, and offers an environmentally friendly alternative to the metal that satellites are currently made of. The satellite, developed in collaboration between universities in Kyoto, Japan, and a forestry company, is supposed to be launched from the USA later this summer.

"All the satellites which re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere burn and create tiny alumina particles, which will float in the upper atmosphere for many years. Eventually, it will affect the environment of the Earth," Takao Doi, a Japanese astronaut and aerospace engineer, warned recently, the Guardian reports.


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7 hours ago, Sanjo said:

a tiny little wooden box full of tech.

Yes, the LignoSat satellite is approximately the size of a coffee mug. I wonder if they will make bigger wooden satellites if this one is successful?

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Japanese wooden satellite project aims to address the growing concerns of space debris by introducing satellites made of wood. These wooden satellites, such as the LignoSat, are designed to burn up completely upon reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, unlike metal satellites that can release harmful substances and debris.

The use of wood in satellites is seen as a more environmentally friendly option that could help reduce the impact of space junk on Earth and in orbit. Researchers have conducted tests on different types of wood, including magnolia, cherry, and birch, to assess their resilience in space conditions.

The project involves collaboration between Kyoto University, Sumitomo Forestry, Japan's space agency (JAXA), and NASA, with plans to launch the wooden satellite into orbit in the near future. 

The potential benefits of wooden satellites include their biodegradability and lower environmental impact compared to traditional metal satellites, offering a novel approach to space technology that prioritizes sustainability and safety.

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