A Japanese company and Kyoto University have joined forces to develop the world’s first satellites made out of wood by 2023.
Sumitomo Forestry said it is researching on tree growth and the use of wood materials highly resistant to temperature changes and sunlight in space. The partnership will begin experimenting with different types of wood in extreme environments on Earth.
Space junk is an increasing problem as more satellites are launched into the atmosphere. Wooden satellites would burn up without releasing harmful substances into the atmosphere or raining debris on the ground when they plunge back to Earth.
Takao Doi, a professor at Kyoto University and Japanese astronaut, said, “We are very concerned with the fact that all the satellites which re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere burn and create tiny alumina particles which will float in the upper atmosphere for many years. Eventually it will affect the environment of the Earth.”