This NASA photo obtained released June 19, 2019 shows a set of three CubeSats pictured shortly after being ejected from the Japanese Small Satellite Orbital Deployer attached to a robotic arm outside of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo labora Photograph:( AFP )
Japan is set to change the game... in space! A company from Japan, in collaboration with Kyoto University, is developing the world's first satellites made out of wood, and they hope to achieve the feat by 2023
Japan is set to change the game... in space! A company from Japan, in collaboration with Kyoto University, is developing the world's first satellites made out of wood, and they hope to achieve the feat by 2023.
Sumitomo Forestry told BBC that it had begun research on the growth of trees, and understanding how to use wood materials in space.
Researchers will attempt to understand how wood performs in extreme environments on our planet, and then extrapolate their findings to create the first of its kind wood satellite. With satellites being launched at a mindblowing pace, space junk continues to remain a major issue.
Many countries around the globe are trying to understand how to deal with space junk, which is clogging up the atmosphere and poses a risk of collision in space between satellites.
When satellites outrun their life, they burn up in the earth's atmosphere and its remains fall onto Earth. But if the satellites are made of wood, they would burn up in the atmosphere without releasing harmful chemicals, and without releasing debris on the ground.
A professor from Kyoto University and an astronaut from Japan - Takao Doi told BBC how the satellites burn up in the atmosphere and release tiny particles that remain in the upper atmosphere for years, which eventually affects the Earth's environment.
Soon, the researchers will undertake the development of an engineering model of the satellite, based on which they will manufacture the flight model.
Sumitomo Forestry is in the process of developing wooden materials that are highly resistant to changes in temperature and can flourish in the face of sunlight, which would equip the satellites to survive in space.
2,800 satellites are currently orbiting the earth. 3,000 dead satellites also orbit the Earth.