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SpaceX to Launch World's First Eco-Friendly Wooden Satellite Created by Japanese Scientists

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Photo: SpaceX to Launch World's First Eco-Friendly Wooden Satellite Created by Japanese Scientists. Source: Kyoto University
Photo: SpaceX to Launch World's First Eco-Friendly Wooden Satellite Created by Japanese Scientists. Source: Kyoto University

Scientists from Kyoto University have developed the world’s first satellite made of wood. The spacecraft, named LignoSat, will be launched into space on a SpaceX rocket this September, according to Phys.

This small, cube-shaped satellite measures 10 cm on each side, with walls made of wood. The only metal components are within the scientific equipment housed inside LignoSat.

The researchers claim that wooden satellites could potentially cause significantly less environmental harm, as they would completely burn up upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. The aim of LignoSat’s mission is to investigate whether the wooden structure can withstand the thermal stress during launch and operations in space.

"Data from the satellite will be sent to researchers, who will be able to check for signs of deformation and assess if the satellite can endure extreme temperature variations," reported Sumitomo Forestry, the company responsible for crafting the wooden walls of the spacecraft.

It is worth noting that traditional metal satellites also burn up in the atmosphere. However, their remnants can reach the Earth's surface and linger in the atmosphere for a while. These metal particles could negatively impact the environment and telecommunications, according to LignoSat's developers.

"Non-metal satellites should become mainstream," said Takao Doi, an astronaut and professor at Kyoto University, at a press conference.

In related news, The Gaze reported that the European Space Agency's Euclid spacecraft has sent back five new unique images of the universe. Among these are an image of a spiral galaxy 30 million light-years away, resembling our Milky Way, and a stunning jellyfish-shaped cloud of distant gas and dust.

Other images include a "galaxy cluster," where several galaxies are positioned closely together and held by gravitational forces. These images, captured using Euclid’s infrared sensors, demonstrate the broad capabilities of the European Space Agency's spacecraft, from discovering new planets to exploring vast galaxy clusters.

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