Japan Developing Wooden Satellites.

mosaix

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No, it's not April Fool's Day.


A Japanese company and Kyoto University have joined forces to develop what they hope will be the world's first satellites made out of wood by 2023.

Sumitomo Forestry said it has started research on tree growth and the use of wood materials in space.
The partnership will begin experimenting with different types of wood in extreme environments on Earth.

Space junk is becoming an increasing problem as more satellites are launched into the atmosphere.
Wooden satellites would burn up without releasing harmful substances into the atmosphere or raining debris on the ground when they plunge back to Earth.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Great idea, biodegradeable satellite housings. Probably some company will come along and replace the natural wood materials with some kind of artificial composite cellulose product. A lot of space gear has plastic in it or is made from plastic. Interesting to see how wood, plastic or other non metallic substances could be modified to block radiation. Some kind of new material design that would be thermally and structurally strong as well. One problem with layering different materials in the extremes of space is keeping the bond intact between the layers.
 

Robert Zwilling

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A European group is working on the use of wood satellites to cut down on pollution created by space junk burning up in the atmosphere. The European Space Agency will be launching a cubesat later this year made of plywood. It is called WISA-Woodsat. It will have a camera pointed at the plywood covering so it can be seen how the plywood holds up in space. The Japanese wood satellite is scheduled to be launched in 2023.
 

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