• World - Asia
  • Updated: June 03, 2024

Japan prepares to launch revolutionary wooden satellite

Japan prepares to launch revolutionary wooden satellite

In a groundbreaking achievement, a team of Japanese researchers has successfully constructed the world's first wooden satellite, LignoSat.

The satellite, made from magnolia wood, is set to launch in September and will be deployed from the International Space Station, ISS.

"A new era of space exploration has begun," said Professor Takao Doi, a Kyoto University professor and astronaut, during a press conference on Wednesday.

"Expanding the potential of wood as a sustainable resource is significant. We aim to build human habitats using wood in space, such as on the Moon and Mars, in the future."

The innovative use of wood offers a sustainable solution for satellite development, as traditional metal satellites can harm the environment when they burn up upon reentry. Wood, on the other hand, will completely combust, leaving no harmful debris behind.

"We want to demonstrate that wood can be a viable material for space missions," said Dr. Satoshi Hosoda, the lead researcher on the LignoSat project. We're  the boundaries of what's possible with sustainable materials in space explorapushingtion."

Scientists analyzed three types of wood on the ISS and found magnolia wood to be the most resilient due to its exceptional strength. This discovery led to its selection as the building material for LignoSat.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, will receive LignoSat next week, and the satellite will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission aims to evaluate LignoSat's performance in Earth orbit, paving the way for further research on wooden satellite payloads and observational uses.

"We're excited to see how LignoSat performs in space," said Dr. Hosoda. This is just the beginning of a new chapter in sustainable space exploration."

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