Japan to launch world’s first wooden satellite in 2024

Japan to launch world's first wooden satellite in 2024

Japan is preparing to launch the world’s first wooden satellite in 2024, in an effort to reduce space debris and promote the use of sustainable materials in space.

The wooden satellite, named LignoSat2, is a joint project of Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry, a leading timber company in Japan. The satellite is made of magnolia wood, which was found to be durable and stable in space, after undergoing tests on the International Space Station (ISS).

The satellite will carry several experiments to measure the performance and behavior of the wooden structure in orbit, such as deformation, cracking, and thermal expansion. The satellite will also have a camera to capture images of the Earth and the wood surface.

The main advantage of using wood as a satellite material is that it can burn up completely when it re-enters the atmosphere, leaving no harmful traces or particles. This could help address the growing problem of space junk, which poses a threat to other satellites and spacecraft.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), there are more than 34,000 objects larger than 10 cm in orbit, and millions of smaller ones, which are the result of decades of space activities. These objects can travel at speeds of up to 28,000 km/h, and can cause damage or collisions if they encounter other satellites or spacecraft.

The wooden satellite project aims to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of using biodegradable materials in space, and to inspire new ideas and innovations for the future of space exploration.

The project is also part of Japan’s efforts to promote its wood industry and culture, and to showcase its technological and environmental leadership. Japan has a long history and tradition of using wood for various purposes, such as architecture, furniture, art, and crafts.

The wooden satellite is expected to be launched by NASA or SpaceX in 2024, as part of a rideshare mission with other small satellites. The project team hopes that the wooden satellite will be a success and pave the way for more wooden satellites in the future.

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