By Leandro Laranjeiras and Caroline Colbert |
Researchers from Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry corporation started a project of the world’s first wooden satellites. The objective is to minimize the environmental damage caused by space exploration and to reduce the accumulation of space junk. The developers claim that by the time the satellites leave the orbit, they would burn up without releasing harmful substances, like small particles of alumina, into the atmosphere or pollute the ground with debris when they reenter Earth. Japan expects that these satellites will be launched to space by 2023, for that it has started to grow trees and will begin testing different types of wood that are resistant to extreme environments.
Impacts on Defense and Security: If successful, the project points to a viable solution to decrease the problem of space debris in low orbit, which may ultimately pose a threat to human security. Besides that, the technology can be the subject of disputes for the future development of rockets that are the most responsible for space junk.
Source: HARPER, Justin Harper. Japan developing wooden satellites to cut space junk. BBC News, Washington, 12/29/2020. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55463366