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In a world-first, Japanese researchers have built a tiny wooden satellite named LignoSat that will be launched into space in September.

About LignoSat: 

  • LignoSat”, a fusion of “ligno” (the Latin word for wood) and “satellite”,.
  • It is developed through collaborative research and development by a team comprising members from Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry Co.
  • Objective: Their objective is to leverage the eco-friendliness and cost-effectiveness of wood in space exploration.
  • It is constructed from magnolia wood, chosen for its durability and adaptability.
  • Why is wood used? : Wooden satellites are viewed as more environmentally friendly upon reentering the Earth's atmosphere at the conclusion of their mission. Unlike metal satellites, which pose air pollution risks due to the generation of metal particles during reentry, wooden satellites mitigate these concerns.
  • It will first be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX rocket from the Kennedy Space Center.
  • Once it reaches the ISS, it will be released from the Japanese experiment module to test its durability and strength.
    • Researchers will receive data from the satellite to monitor its performance, including signs of strain and its ability to withstand extreme temperature changes.

Q1: What is the International Space Station?

It is a large spacecraft in low Earth orbit. It is a habitable spacecraft that orbits Earth at an average altitude of approximately 420 kilometers (260 miles). It serves as a unique and collaborative space laboratory, research facility, and living space for astronauts and cosmonauts from various countries.

Source: LignoSat: Japan Launches World's First Wooden Satellite In Fight Against Space Debris