Wooden satellite to take flight

Friday 23 Feb 2024

Japanese scientists are launching a unique "LignoSat" probe made entirely of magnolia wood. This experiment tests the viability of wood as an environmentally friendly alternative to metals in satellite construction.

Why wood? Traditional satellites leave harmful aluminium particles in the atmosphere upon re-entry. Wood, however, burns into harmless ash. The project began with lab tests and exposure trials on the ISS, proving wood's surprising resilience in space. Magnolia emerged as the strongest choice.

The coffee mug-sized LignoSat will launch mid-year and operate for at least six months. It will measure wood's performance in orbit, addressing potential issues like deformation. Success could pave the way for future wooden satellites, mitigating the growing problem of space debris and its environmental impact.

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Source: The Guardian

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