Japan Plans to Launch World's First ‘Wooden’ Satellite in 2023 – Reports

© East News / Kyodo/Associated PressJapan's H-2A
Japan's H-2A - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.12.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Japan is planning to launch a satellite partially made of wood in 2023 in an effort to promote environmental friendliness and reduce costs of space development, Japanese media reported on Friday.
According to Kyodo news agency, a team of experts from Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry Co. , who are working on this project, consider wood to be less of a burden for the environment than other materials.
The satellite will be shaped like a cube with 10 centimeter (3.9 inch) dimensions with an antenna inside. Its exterior will consist of wood and solar panels.
The launch of a satellite with wooden parts is cheaper than a comparable one made of aluminum, according to the media. The wooden shell is expected to burn when the satellite enters Earth's atmosphere on its way back.
The developers plan to test the strength of the wood in space, presumably beginning in February, using an extravehicular experimental apparatus of the International Space Station.
The team, headed by Japanese astronaut Takao Doi, will attach several wood plates of different densities to the apparatus, which will remain in open space for nine months. Experts will then assess the degree of deterioration of the material.
According to Doi, if the plan is implemented successfully, children, who are interested in space, will be able to create a satellite by themselves.
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