Origami in Space

BBC News: Can Japan’s paper plane fly in space?

Professor Shinichi Suzuki of the University of Tokyo is the latest slightly eccentric pioneer. His team is testing a paper aeroplane they want to launch from the International Space Station to glide back to earth. The plan is to ask a Japanese astronaut who will travel to the ISS later this year to throw about 100 of the planes into space.

The planes have been tested at wind speeds of Mach 7 and heat of 300C to ensure they will survive re-entry. They are around 8 cm long and weigh less than 30g. They may have notes on asking people who find them to mail them back to Japan. If a plane survives re-entry, it will be the longest paper aeroplane flight ever.

One Comment

  1. I saw that on the telly! It’s a weird, snub-nosed looking thing, but it seemed to fly really well. Whether it can stay stable enough to glide all the way down, rather than sooner-or-later pitching too far forward and just dropping nose first into the deck, is another matter…

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