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Index – Tech-Science – The first wooden satellite could be launched next year

Index – Tech-Science – The first wooden satellite could be launched next year

Humanity can take a big step towards environmentally friendly space exploration after the first wooden satellite in history is expected to be put into orbit next year.

The program is not new, the researchers who came up with the idea were accepted as partners by the Japanese space agency, JAXA, in 2020. As part of the development, three types of wood samples have been sent to the International Space Station in recent years, where they have been tested for ten months in JAXA’s Kibo unit to see how far it can handle outer space. As it turns out, the tree has withstood the frost and radiation typical of outer space surprisingly well.

During the experiments, magnolia proved to be the most resistant. It was not noticed during the tests

Signs of deterioration, deformation, cracking, warping, peeling, or surface damage.

The change in wood mass was also minimal.

In the military, scientific and civil fields, today’s society relies heavily on satellites, from positioning to communications. However, at the end of their lives, satellites become particularly expensive waste, circling as dangerous space junk for a while and threatening other satellites, and later colliding in the atmosphere, where aluminum parts burn huge holes in the ozone layer.

With that in mind, the idea of ​​a wooden satellite never really took off — so much so that Finnish specialists are already developing one for the European Space Agency.