LignoSat: First Wooden Satellite a Significant Leap in Space Tech

Space pollution is a growing concern for the environment and the future of space exploration. The increasing number of satellites and debris in orbit poses a risk of collisions and damage to spacecraft and the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover, most satellites are made of metals that release harmful particles when they burn up during re-entry.To address this problem, scientists from Japan have developed the world’s first wooden satellite, LignoSat, which is expected to launch in 2024. The satellite is made of magnolia wood, which has been found to be stable and resistant to cracking in space conditions. The satellite will test how wood behaves and degrades in orbit, and how it can be used as a biodegradable alternative to metals for space structures.

Features of LignoSat

LignoSat is a nano-satellite that measures 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighs about 1 kg. It has nine small solar cells that power its onboard instruments, including cameras, sensors, and a radio transmitter. The satellite will orbit the Earth at an altitude of about 500 km and communicate with amateur radio operators around the world.

The main feature of LignoSat is its wooden structure, which is made of plywood panels coated with a thin layer of resin to protect them from moisture and ultraviolet radiation. The wood was chosen after extensive experiments on the International Space Station (ISS), where different types of wood were exposed to space for nearly a year. Magnolia wood was found to be the most durable and suitable for space applications.

The wooden structure has several advantages over metal ones. First, it is lighter and cheaper to produce and launch. Second, it does not interfere with radio signals or generate electromagnetic fields. Third, it does not release harmful particles when it burns up in the atmosphere, unlike metals that form alumina particles that can linger in the upper atmosphere for years.

Objectives of LignoSat

The main objective of LignoSat is to demonstrate the feasibility and performance of wood as a material for space structures. The satellite will monitor the deformation, cracking, color change, and temperature of the wood in orbit using cameras and sensors. It will also test some 3D-printed electrically conductive plastic material that could be used for making power and data cables in space.

Another objective of LignoSat is to raise awareness and interest in space among the public, especially young people. The satellite will transmit images and data to amateur radio operators who can access them using simple equipment. The satellite will also carry educational payloads from schools and universities that will conduct experiments in space.

The final objective of LignoSat is to contribute to the sustainability and environmental protection of space. The satellite will demonstrate that wood can be a viable alternative to metals for reducing space pollution and debris. The satellite will also showcase the potential of using renewable and natural resources for space exploration.


LignoSat is a pioneering project that aims to launch the world’s first wooden satellite in 2024. The satellite will test how wood behaves and degrades in orbit, and how it can be used as a sustainable material for space structures. The satellite will also promote public engagement and education in space, as well as environmental protection and conservation. LignoSat is a significant leap in space tech that could pave the way for more innovative and eco-friendly solutions for the future of space.

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