First ever wooden satellite will be launched in September

The world’s first wooden satellite will go into space in September. This was stated by the team of Japanese researchers who built it.

The first wooden satellite in history. Source: AFP

The wooden satellite project was first announced in 2020. It is being handled by a team of scientists from Kyoto University and the Japanese logging company Sumitomo Forestry. 

Despite the seemingly absurd idea at first glance, the researchers believe that wood may well become an alternative to metals traditionally used for the manufacture of spacecraft. After all, in an airless space, it is not affected by such factors as burning, rotting and exposure to microorganisms that lead to its destruction on Earth. And in terms of strength, wood is quite comparable to aluminum. In addition, upon entering the atmosphere, it will completely burn up, which eliminates the risk of falling debris.

To determine which kind of wood is best suited for the construction of a satellite, in 2022 JAXA sent three samples to the ISS, which were placed in the Japanese laboratory module Kibo. As a result, the choice fell on magnolia.

The wooden satellite, dubbed LignoSat, has already been built. It is a cube with a face length of 10 cm. The spacecraft will be handed over to JAXA next week. After the checks, it will be transported to Cape Canaveral. From there, LignoSat will be delivered to the ISS by the Dragon supply spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch in September.

After arriving at the ISS, the satellite will be launched into space from the Kibo module. The sensors installed on it will transmit data on the condition of the vehicle, which will allow scientists to find out how it copes with strong temperature fluctuations and whether it has deformed.

The authors of the project hope that the tests will be successful. In this case, in the future we will be able to see other spacecraft made of non-conventional metals.

According to