A Wooden Satellite To Space

A Wooden Satellite To Space

 Is it absurd to think of sending a wooden satellite into space? Though wood is not considered as durable as metal, an experiment shows wood is surprisingly sturdy in outer space. This prompted a group of researchers to put the first wooden satellite into space and they would probably launch in in 2024, if things go well.

Researchers from Kyoto University, Japan said that wood from magnolia trees could be the ideal construction material for a satellite.

Test results from a recent experiment aboard the International Space Station among three wood specimens revealed magnolia to be the most versatile. The samples, which were exposed to the harsh conditions of space for 10 months, returned to Earth this past January. The analysis showed that magnolia experienced no decomposition or damage like cracking, peeling, or warping. Furthermore, there was no change in the mass of the wood samples before and after their exposure in space.


The main idea that led to sending wooden satellite comes from the thought of accumulating debris in the space. A wooden satellite could be the answer here, as wood would burn up in the atmosphere upon re-entry. This means less junk re-entering the atmosphere, lowering the risk of injuries to animals and human life when they inevitably fall back to the planet.

Moreover, wood is less expensive to produce than metal alloys. It is more environmentally friendly, light weight and flexible.

Kyoto University partnered with Sumitomo Forestry in 2020 on the LignoStella Space Wood Project, with the goal of eventually launching a wooden satellite into space.


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