(ORDO NEWS) — The Japanese company Sumitomo Forestry and Kyoto University are going to create satellites with wooden hulls. The first sample should be ready for testing in 2023.
Usually the satellite body is made of aluminum or its alloys. Such materials perfectly withstand the extreme conditions of space. But this resilience has a downside.
Spent satellites must be de-orbited and burned in the Earth’s atmosphere. Otherwise, after the end of operation, they turn into space debris, which is dangerous for operating space vehicles.
When a satellite with a metal body collapses in the atmosphere, solid particles of aluminum oxide are formed. They have been in the air for many years. Scientists are not yet ready to say if this creates environmental problems, but it is quite possible that it does.
In this regard, the researchers propose an unusual solution: to make the satellite body out of wood. It will completely burn up in the atmosphere, forming carbon dioxide, harmless in such quantities.
In addition, the wooden case allows radio waves to pass through, and this would greatly simplify the design of communication systems.
Scientists are going to conduct experiments to find out if any types of wood can withstand extreme temperatures, vacuum and cosmic radiation. A test sample is planned to be manufactured in 2023.
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