Japan is Making a Space Satellite Made from Wood

Tech and Telecom

A Japanese wood processing and construction company Sumitomo Forestry has teamed up with Kyoto University to develop the world’s first satellite made out of wood. The goal is to reduce space junk that is progressively increasing over the years as more satellites are launched.

These wooden satellites will be able to burn up without releasing any harmful substances into the atmosphere or raining down debris on Earth when they return.


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Sumitomo Forestry has started researching tree growth and wood material that can be used in space. The partnership between the two will start off experimenting with wood under extreme environments on Earth. The company said that it wants to develop materials highly resistant to sunlight and changes in temperature.

However, the wood it is using remains an “R&D secret” for now, the company told BBC.

A professor at Kyoto University and Japanese astronaut Takao Doi said:

We are very concerned with the fact that 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. The next stage will be developing the engineering model of the satellite, then we will manufacture the flight model.

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