Adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology “Space Aerospace Science and Technology Promotion Commission FY2020” – Check the possibility of using wood in space towards sustainable development and decarbonization of mankind- | Kahoku Shimpo News Online / NEWS ONLINE

National University Corporation Kyoto University (President: Nagahiro Minato; hereinafter referred to as Kyoto University) and Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. presented. (President: Toshiro Mitsuyoshi; hereinafter referred to as Sumitomo Forestry) application entitled “Wood as Space Materials Aimed at Adopted Creation of Wood Space Industry.” Investigate Use” in September by the Program for the Creation of Decarbonization Technology Aerospace Decarbonization Technology “FY2020 of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology” from the Fund of the Commission for the Promotion of Science and Technology of Aerospace Space. The research period is between October 2022 and March 2025, and the possibility of using wood in space will be checked. In May 2020, the two launched the space wood project (commonly known as the LignoStella Project) focusing on the launch of a wooden satellite. With the adoption this, our aim is to speed up the space wood project, which is “basic research on growing trees and using wood in space”, and to contribute to the sustainable development of mankind and decarbonisation by opening the way to using wood in space.

■ The name of the program
Aerospace decarbonisation technology creation programme

■Name of proposed subject
Exploring the use of wood as a space material with the aim of creating a space wood industry

■ Research period:
October 2022 to March 2025 (planned)

■ Research project:

1. Promote the use of wood in space by developing and operating wooden satellites

  • The first wooden satellite currently being developed will be operated in space, and temperature and stiffness changes in the wooden structure of the satellite will be measured.
  • Based on the experience of developing the first wooden satellite, the second wooden satellite was produced, and the attitude control system and the communication system were improved by taking advantage of the characteristics of the wooden structure.

2. Investigate the feasibility of using wood in space by analyzing microstructural changes in space environment exposure experiments

  • Currently, the International Space Station is collecting wood that is exposed to outer space and analyzing its physical properties.
  • Based on physical property analysis data from space exposure experiments, computer simulations are used to analyze the effect of the space environment on wood.

3. Explain the characteristics of tree growth under low pressure to establish a method of growing trees on the surface of the Moon and Mars in low pressure environments

  • Set up a tree growing experiment method from 1.0 to 0.1 atm.
  • Conduct tree growth experiments from 1.0 to 0.1 atm and analyze the results.

4.Education and awareness raising activities related to the use of wood in space

  • Conduct education and enlightenment activities through research on the use of wood in space, and promote the development of human resources who will work on decarbonisation projects.

■ Research system:
〇 Main implementing agency
Name of organization: Kyoto University National University Corporation
Principal Investigator: Takao Doi (Programme-Specific Professor, Institute for Integrated Survival)
〇 Other implementing agencies
Graduate School of Integrated Survival Studies, Kyoto University
Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University
Research Institute for Sustainable Denosphere, Kyoto University
Kyoto Prefectural University Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. Tsukuba Research Laboratory

In May 2020, Kyoto University and Sumitomo Forestry Co, Ltd started the space wood project of “basic research on growing trees and using wood in space” Wood samples exposed to a vacuum environment do not change their physical properties such as dimensions and bending rigidity I have explained things. Based on the results of these experiments, we are developing the first wooden artificial satellite (LignoSat) as the world’s first example of using wood in space. In order to directly study how the physical properties of wood exposed to the space environment change, we participated in the first space environment exposure experiment (ExBAS) developed by JAXA, and from March 2022, experiments the world’s first wooden space environment exposure of samples has begun on the International Space Station. We will explore the possibility of using wood in outer space, develop technology to use wood under harsh conditions, and work to expand the use of wood on Earth.

■ Regarding the decision on projects adopted for the Commission Fund for the Promotion of Aerospace Science and Technology 2022
(Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

■ Space Wood Project (common name: LignoStella Project)

Inquiries regarding this matter
National University Corporation
Tomoko Tsujihiro, Space Unit, Graduate School of Advanced Studies, Kyoto University
Email: [email protected]

Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. Sato and Kawamura Corporate Communications Department
TEL: 03-3214-2270

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