Researchers at Kyoto University have been hard at work on a wooden satellite called LignoSat for some time now. Now they have announced that they are finally ready to send her into space.
If all goes according to plan, it will happen next summer as part of a joint mission by the space agencies JAXA and NASA.
“When you use wood on Earth, you have problems with flammability, rotting and warping, but in space you don’t have these problems: there is no oxygen in space, so the wood does not burn, and there are no creatures that live in the wood, so it does not rot,” he stated Koji Murata of Kyoto University.
According to Murata, the material has other advantages – it is roughly as strong as aluminum and can easily burn up in the atmosphere once the satellite is decommissioned.
The main goal of the aforementioned mission is to find out how LignoSat will react to extreme temperature changes. For this purpose, the team intends to monitor him for at least 6 months.
Experiments so far have shown that, for example, a “jump” from -150 degrees Celsius to +150 degrees Celsius has no great effect on the resistance of the satellite in question. However, similar changes occur very often in space, which could theoretically cause complications.