Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry unveil world’s first wooden satellite

By Jessica Speed
The Japan Times
May 29, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry announced the completion of LignoSat, the world’s first wooden artificial satellite. LignoSat will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station in September. LignoSat is crafted from magnolia wood, selected for its strength and workability after space exposure tests were conducted on cherry, birch and magnolia wood chips. The wood was sourced from Sumitomo Forestry’s company forest. The 10-cubic-centimeter probe was assembled using a traditional Japanese technique that doesn’t require any screws or glue and is equipped with external solar panels. …Conventional satellites pose air pollution risks during reentry. Wooden satellites, which burn up upon reentry, are expected to mitigate this effect. …Sumitomo Forestry will study the results to understand how wood breaks down at the nano-level, with aims to develop technology to prevent wood from degrading and to create new uses for wood, including highly durable materials for building exteriors.

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