HomePOPULARJapan Unveils World’s First Wooden Satellite to Launch on SpaceX Rocket

Japan Unveils World’s First Wooden Satellite to Launch on SpaceX Rocket

Kyoto: In a groundbreaking achievement, Japanese researchers have developed the world’s first wooden satellite. The innovative cuboid craft, designed by scientists at Kyoto University in collaboration with Sumitomo Forestry, is scheduled to be launched aboard a SpaceX rocket in September.

Measuring just 10 centimeters (four inches) per side, the experimental satellite, named LignoSat, aims to test the feasibility of using wood as a primary material in space technology. This initiative is driven by environmental concerns, as the wooden satellite is expected to burn up entirely upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, thereby eliminating the risk of creating harmful metal particles that could affect the environment and telecommunications.

Key Features and Launch Details

• The satellite is a small cuboid with each side measuring 10 centimeters. It is constructed from magnolia wood, chosen for its durability and workability.

•Unlike traditional satellites made of metal, LignoSat’s wooden structure is designed to completely disintegrate during re-entry, preventing pollution from metal particles.

•The satellite will be handed over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) next week. It will then be launched from the Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX rocket in September and sent to the International Space Station (ISS).

• Once deployed from the Japanese experiment module on the ISS, the satellite will undergo rigorous testing to assess its strength and durability against extreme temperature changes. Data collected will help researchers determine its viability for future applications.

Takao Doi, an astronaut and special professor at Kyoto University, emphasized the significance of this development, stating, “Satellites that are not made of metal should become mainstream.”

In conjunction with LignoSat’s announcement, another significant launch took place on Tuesday. A rocket carrying the EarthCARE satellite, a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and JAXA, lifted off from California. This satellite is set to orbit approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) above Earth for the next three years, investigating the role of clouds in climate change.

The successful deployment and operation of LignoSat could herald a new era in sustainable space exploration, potentially leading to a shift towards environmentally friendly satellite designs.

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