Japan is working on wooden satellites

Japan is working on wooden satellites

To solve the space waste problem, a Japanese research team is developing wooden satellites that can destroy themselves without leaving any debris or harmful substances

(Photo: Esa) By 2023, future wooden satellites will be able to solve in the ever growing problem of space junk starts. Just think, in fact, that, according to the estimates of the World Economic Forum (Wef), of the almost 6 thousand satellites used for communications, navigation and meteorological forecasts, which orbit the Earth, 60% are disused and not operational. In an attempt to reduce space waste, therefore, researchers at Kyoto University are trying to develop the first satellites in the world made of wood that can, at the end of their life cycle, burn without releasing debris or harmful substances into the atmosphere. The launch, according to the plans of the Japanese research team, is scheduled for 2023.

For now, however, it is an experimental research. In fact, in collaboration with Sumitomo Forestry, a Japanese wood processing company, researchers are currently carrying out some tests on different types of wood in extreme environments on Earth and working on the development of materials that are highly resistant to changes in temperature and in sunlight. "The next phase will be the development of the engineering model of the satellite, then we will fine-tune the flight model," Takao Doi, an astronaut and researcher at Kyoto University, explained to the BBC.

(Photo: Sumitomo Forestry) The European Space Agency, which has recently signed an agreement with a German startup for the ClearSpace project, is also looking for a solution to reduce the problem of space garbage He knows that he will have the goal of removing debris from Earth's orbit with the first mission starting in 2025. Equipped with cameras, sensors and robotic limbs, the recovery vehicle will be able to push the debris to destroy itself in contact with our atmosphere.

In this decade, the research firm Euroconsult estimates that 990 satellites will be launched each year. That is to say, therefore, that by 2028 there could be as many as 15 thousand satellites in orbit. In addition to the fact that the debris travels at an incredibly fast speed, around 22,300 mph and can therefore cause considerable damage to any objects it hits, space junk also poses an environmental threat. "We are very concerned that all satellites that re-enter Earth's atmosphere will burn and create tiny alumina particles that will float in the upper atmosphere for many years," the expert added. "Eventually this will also affect the Earth's environment."

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Space satellites globalData.fldTopic = "Satellites, Space"

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