NASA and JAXA are set to launch the world's pioneering wooden satellite, LignoSat, in 2024, heralding a new era of sustainable space exploration.
Crafted from resilient magnolia wood and resembling a compact coffee mug, LignoSat promises to revolutionize space debris management.
NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plan to launch the world's first wooden satellite, called LignoSat, into Earth's orbit by the summer of 2024. The coffee mug-sized satellite is made from magnolia wood, a material that doesn't burn or rot in space but turns… pic.twitter.com/DL1aQ9ZHt1— SpaceFabrics (@SpaceFabrics) November 17, 2023
The decision to use wood stems from its unique property of transforming into fine ash upon reentry, addressing concerns about space pollution.
Following successful wood sample tests aboard the ISS, magnolia emerged as the ideal choice due to its durability during manufacturing.
With over 9,300 tons of space objects currently orbiting, the introduction of wooden satellites represents a paradigm shift in reducing space debris hazards.
Unlike conventional metal spacecraft, LignoSat's wooden composition offers a safer alternative for both crewed spacecraft and Earth during re-entry.
Moreover, wooden satellites contribute to minimizing ambient light pollution caused by traditional spacecraft materials, enhancing the observation of celestial phenomena.
LignoSat's launch signifies a significant step towards sustainable space exploration, marking a departure from cost-intensive and environmentally taxing spacecraft materials.