Wooden satellites? Japan proves magnolia has right stuff for space

By Tatsuya Ozaki
The Nikkei Asia
May 19, 2023
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

TOKYO — A team from Kyoto University and Japanese logging company Sumitomo Forestry confirmed that wood is highly durable in orbit after a 10-month experiment on the International Space Station, paving the way for plans to launch a satellite made from wood next year. The discovery, announced by the university last week, could lead to satellites with simpler designs that are less prone to failure. A satellite made from magnolia wood will be launched next year to test viability, Kyoto University said. In March 2022, the partnership commissioned the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to test three types of wood used for furniture and other products at the International Space Station’s Kibo experiment module. The wood was placed outside the station for about 10 months to investigate whether its quality deteriorated due to temperature changes and cosmic radiation. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata assisted in the experiment.

Read More