A very first wooden satellite could be launched from #Japan as early as 2023. #In any case, this is the joint project of #Sumitomo #Forestry and #Kyoto #University. Their goal is to develop a satellite capable of self-destructing without leaving trash behind.
Their work currently consists of carrying out research on wood-based materials and coatings capable of being sent under extreme conditions into space. They are therefore studying the construction of dedicated wooden structures, in particular cedar and birch. #This project is obviously confronted with immense technological challenges, starting with the resistance of the wood to violent changes in temperature and intense exposure to the sun.
#On paper, however, wood has many advantages. #Already, it does not block electromagnetic waves. #It is therefore possible to embed antennas and other control mechanisms in wooden structures. These structures would also be simpler to draw and lighter than what current satellites require. #On the other hand, when a wooden satellite has completed its mission to return to #Earth and disintegrate, it will burn completely, without releasing any harmful substance into the atmosphere or raining debris on the ground or the sea.
#In addition to the technological challenge that this represents, launching wooden satellites could also allow “#Clean up” a little space, while thousands of satellites now orbit the #Earth, many of which have become obsolete. #In 2020 alone, more than 1,200 satellites were launched into space, a record!
#Note that this is not the first challenge taken up by #Sumitomo #Forestry, which is also working on an insane 350 m high skyscraper project in the heart of #Tokyo, made mainly of wood.
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