Protection of “picket satellites” misses the purpose

Enlarge / An experimental satellite tv for pc, not product of wooden, that was used to check concepts for orbital junk removing. (credit score: NASA)
We right here at Ars had been considerably shocked to stumble throughout a BBC headline indicating {that a} university-industry partnership in Japan was engaged on growing picket satellites. The plan is much less insane than it sounds—wooden is a outstanding materials that is largely unappreciated due to its ubiquity. However a lot of the causes to shift to wooden give within the protection of the plan utterly misses the mark.
To the diploma that there’s a plan, a minimum of. In accordance with the BBC and different protection, the partnership is between Kyoto College and an organization referred to as Sumitomo Forestry. However neither the college nor the corporate has any info on the venture accessible on the English-language variations of their web sites. The BBC article will get all its quotes from Takao Doi, who’s at the moment school at Kyoto College. In accordance with Doi, the collaboration is on monitor to be manufacturing flight fashions of picket satellites by 2023.
Whereas wooden might look like a horrific match for the cruel setting of house, the concept could appear much less insane in case you consider wooden when it comes to its structural composition: a mixture of two strong polymers, cellulose and lignin. The energy and sturdiness of wooden relies upon closely on the ratio of those polymers and what’s additionally current within the combine with them. But it surely’s additionally doable to bodily and chemically deal with wooden to change its properties additional. One model of wooden was as robust as aluminum by some measures, and had some fascinating extra properties. And a forestry firm will be anticipated to have in depth data of the best way to course of wooden.Learn 6 remaining paragraphs | Feedback

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