Wooden satellite: An innovative step by Japan towards safe environment

Building a satellite out of wood as a component, would not cause such devastating environmental effects on the atmosphere on re-entering Earth’s surface. 

As the technology is taking over the world; many new creations, developments and new inventions are being introduced in the society. And as far as space is concerned, a new development has been introduced to the society i.e. Wooden Satellite.

A Wooden Satellite To Cut of Junk

Japan; a country known for its development, now is introducing a wooden satellite that will cut off the junk in space. Kyoto University has joined hands with forestry company to shoot a wooden satellite to orbit in 2023.

Less Harmful Satellite to the Atmosphere

It was being told to BBC, by a Kyoto University professor and a Japanese Astronaut that the advantage of developing a wooden satellite is to create something less harmful to the atmosphere.

How was it less harmful? If the satellite burns up on re-entry, it won’t release as many harmful particles like aluminium as the metal satellites.

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The major component in today’s satellite is aluminium which upon breaking by the force of re-entry to earth atmosphere could release long-lived aerosols that actually cause harm to the Ozone Layer.

Wooden satellites are considered good for the environment and they could also allow for new and simpler designs if used to make a craft outer shell. The cause for that is the electromagnetic signals. As they pass easily through the wood.

This means that antennas could be placed within, rather than outside of the satellite body.

Aluminium Satellite causes harmful effects to the Atmosphere

At present, space satellites are typically made up of aluminium and its alloys, because the metal is relatively cheap as well as lightweight and durable. Aluminium based components have the benefit of being able to withstand extreme temp. as well as bombardment by space radiations.

But at the end of their lives, they reach one of the two fates:

  • Either they can be left in orbit and become thousands of pieces as space junk and become a destructive source to other satellites and rockets.
  • Or they can be de-orbited into the Earth’s atmosphere to burn 50 miles overhead.

Now the astronomical recent studies have concluded that the destruction caused by the re-entrance of objects may not be as safe as once thought. As the aluminium that is used in satellite found to break apart into thousand particles of “alumina” or aluminium oxide

These particles float in the upper atmosphere for many years, eventually, the environment of earth is affected. Alumna acts to reflect the incoming sunlight back out of the atmosphere into space, giving a slight cooling effect and also provides a reactive surface that can actually break down Earth’s Ozone Layer.

Building a Wooden Satellite is an advantage to Earth’s atmosphere

Building a satellite out of wood as a component, would not cause such devastating environmental effects on the atmosphere on re-entering Earth’s surface.

Forestry Company is soon to launch a wooden satellite

The research will take place after experimenting with a different type of woods under extreme temperature conditions in the environment of earth. So, the best combination can be found for space.

For such purpose, Sumitomo forestry has decided to focus on developing wooden materials that are highly resistant to harsh sunlight and temperature changes.

Officials described this research to the BBC as “R&D secret.”