Kyoto University Develops the First-Ever Wooden Satellite

In an effort to reduce space waste and the numerous safety concerns associated with the vast amount of debris in the cosmos, Kyoto University is developing a satellite with a shell made of timber, designed to burn up completely upon reentry into the atmosphere after its life cycle. Former astronaut Takao Doi leads the team at Kyoto University, who work in conjunction with the Japanese …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Philippe Starck's private space homes, lie-flay beds in economy class, knitting climate data into scarves and more

Farewell to Mathematician Katherine Johnson, Crucial “Hidden Figure” at NASA in the ’60s Space Race From her time as a childhood math prodigy in West Virginia to her crucial role as a “computer” at NASA, where her calculations helped lead astronauts into orbit and then the moon, black mathematician Katherine Johnson was a pioneering figure in spaceflight. Johnson’s work was critical to NASA’s earlier successes—especially …

Super-Storm Early Warnings From Four Extreme Weather-Tracking Satellites

In both 2016 and 2018, Lockheed Martin launched one next-generation weather tracking satellite—known as GOES, or Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites—capable of detecting almost every bolt of lightning in the Western Hemisphere. Two more of these 6,000-pound satellites will be launched in 2021 and 2024. With all four in place, they’ll be able to monitor electrical activity in the atmosphere—and the data they amass will help to …