Japan’s Sumitomo Forestry Company and Kyoto University announced on December 23 that the two parties have signed an agreement to jointly carry out basic research related to space arboriculture and wood use, and have launched related plans. Both parties will also work on the development and operation of the world’s first wooden artificial satellite to be launched in 2023. Sumitomo Forestry will not only acquire the technology of using wood in space in the future, but also expand the application of technology of using wood under severe conditions to the use of wood on earth.
Through the development and operation of wooden artificial satellites, the effect of using wood in space will be verified. Electromagnetic waves and geomagnetism can penetrate wood, and the use of wood to make artificial satellites can install the antenna and the attitude control device inside the satellite, thereby simplifying the structure of the satellite. The wooden artificial satellite that returns to the atmosphere after the operation is over will burn out, so it will not produce tiny substances that may become a source of atmospheric pollution during combustion, which is also one of its characteristics .
The two parties will evaluate the properties of wood in the space environment and conduct research on arboriculture before the end of March 2024. Wooden buildings in space are also one of the research topics. Through various researches, Sumitomo Forestry plans to apply the results to wooden buildings on the earth and promote the use of wood, such as the development of wooden building materials that are highly resistant to sunlight, wind and rain, and temperature changes.