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World's 1st Wooden Satellite will be Launched by NASA and JAXA

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 20-02-2024
World's 1st Wooden Satellite will be Launched by NASA and JAXA Science and Technology 4 min read

NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are planning to launch the world's first wooden satellite called the LignoSat probe into space to make space flight more sustainable.

About LignoSat

  • Lignosat is a coffee mug-sized satellite which is made of magnolia wood, and is set to launch into Earth orbit by the summer of 2024.
  • Wood doesn't burn or rot in the lifeless vacuum of space, but it will turn into fine ash upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, making it a surprisingly useful, biodegradable material for future satellites.
  • After successfully testing their wood samples on the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this year, scientists believe the test is suitable for satellite launch.
  • "Three wood samples were tested and showed no distortion after exposure to space," the researchers said in a statement in May. "Despite significant temperature changes in the extreme environment of outer space and exposure to intense cosmic rays and dangerous solar particles for up to 10 months, tests revealed no disintegration or deformation, such as cracking, warping, peeling or cracking of the surface."
  • Scientists sent three samples of wood – magnolia, cherry or birch – to the ISS which was placed in a module and exposed in space. The researchers decided on magnolia because it is less likely to crack or break during construction

Importance of wooden satellite

  • More than 9,300 tons (8,440 metric tons) of space objects – including space junk such as defunct satellites and fragments of spent rocket stages – currently orbit Earth. 
    • But the shiny metals they are made of, such as lightweight titanium and aluminum, increase the overall brightness of the night sky by more than 10% across large parts of the planet, creating ambient light pollution that obscures distant space events. It becomes difficult to find out.
  • Spacecraft made of metal are also expensive and pose a threat to the ISS, other spacecraft carrying humans and – if they are large enough to survive reentry – people on Earth. 
  • According to researchers, wooden satellites like LignoSat should theoretically be less harmful as space junk.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an autonomous agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government.
  • Established in 1958
  • Founder: Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Founded: 29 July 1958, United States
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) 

  • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is designated as the main executive organization that technically supports aerospace development and utilization for the Japanese government. 
  • JAXA continuously conducts activities related to aerospace sectors from basic research and development to applications.


Answer: NASA and JAXA

Answer: LignoSat probe

Answer: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Answer: 1958

Answer: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
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