Japan Team to Launch Wooden Satellite in Fiscal 2023

Science Society

Kyoto, Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)--Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry Co. <1911> are proceeding with the development of the world's first satellite made of wood, aiming to launch it in fiscal 2023, which begins in April next year.

The Japanese university and the Tokyo-based logging company are planning to start an experiment at the International Space Station by the end of March this year to examine how a wooden satellite deteriorates in outer space.

A simple structure such as a cube is possible for wooden satellites as they do not have to deploy antennas and other communication equipment because wooden materials do not block electromagnetic waves.

In addition, wooden satellites produce less fine metal particles than those made of metal during the re-entry into the atmosphere as a wooden part burns out completely. Therefore, wooden satellites carry a lower risk of contaminating the stratosphere.

A wooden satellite under development by Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry is 10 centimeters in height and width and 11.3 centimeters in length and weighs some 1.1 kilograms. It will be put into lower Earth orbit at an altitude of some 400 kilometers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press