Japanese scientists to create wooden satellites by 2023 to tackle rising Space junk

A group of scientists in Japan from Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry has decided to produce wood made satellites by 2023 so that they may lessen the risk posed by the floating debris in Space.

Space abounds with mysterious happenings and phenomenon that continues to perplex scientists and astronomers while it provides a spectacular maze of sights and events to behold. But we humans are sometimes awful creatures as if the Earth was not enough for us that we have started littering the Space and that’s why the problem of space debris seemingly becomes a veritable elephant in the room to address.

Following this, a group of scientists in Japan has now decided to produce wood made satellites so that they may lessen the risk posed by floating debris in Space. This process of manufacturing wooden satellites has been propounded in Kyoto University along with Sumitomo forestry.

The company is expecting to release its first satellite by 2023. At present, the plan for developing such a wooden satellite is at its initial stage and right now the company is testing for different kinds of wooden materials. With that, the company is also simultaneously working on different varieties of trees that could provide suitable wood for the mission.

As per the procedural necessities, once the wooden material will be finalised by the company, then the same would go for various kinds of tests. Following that, the wood will be tested in extreme conditions where it will be subjected to extreme temperatures and sunlight. The aim behind such a rigorous test-based process is to develop the wooden material for satellites that can resist the extreme changes in temperature and sunlight out there in space.

Moreover, the debris and junk created due to wooden satellites will not pose substantial danger upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Currently, the left-out pieces of the satellites composed of different metals and metallic material tend to have a larger threat as they may hit several other satellites and space stations inflicting grave damage to them. In 2006, a floating piece of space debris collided with the International Space Station which severely impacted its window.

On the contrary to the very idea of wooden-based satellites, these man-made heavenly objects will not be entirely consisting of wood. As per scientists, still, there is a lot of scope for the metallic material to be used in these wooden satellites as far as parts regarding fuel propulsion are concerned. This leaves a lot of room for aluminum junk getting splintered from these satellites, once they reach their orbit.

Recently, the scientific community has become cautious of growing space debris which is posing a grave risk in various space exploration programs. As per the World Economic Forum, currently, around 6,000 satellites are revolving around the Earth. According to several statistical studies, there have been 130 million pieces of space debris left-out residue due to human activities and satellites that are revolving around the Earth. Many of them are seemingly smaller than a millimetre and can travel up to a speed of 22,300 mph in space.

Since the launch of the first satellite Sputnik 1 into space in 1957, the increase of garbage material is witnessing an unhindered rise primarily due to dead and defunct satellites and space objects. The European Space Agency and NASA are also coming up with several projects of cleaning up space by the year 2025.

As per information cited by BBC, research firm Euroconsult estimates that 990 satellites will be launched for myriad purposes every year through the course of this decade. This might skyrocket the total number of satellites to a whopping 15,000 in the orbit. Elon Musk’s SpaceX already has 900 satellites in space while they plan to launch many more in the upcoming years.

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