Japan's space agency gave it the OK. A famous astronaut says he'd get involved. They even tested a prototype in a wind tunnel. Still, it does sound nearly too off-the-wall to be true: Japanese scientists have teamed up with origami experts to design a paper airplane that could withstand re-entry and make its way from space back to Earth.
The idea is to use the super-paper-plane to learn more about designing a re-entry craft or atmospheric explorers. And while it sounds impossible, a prototype ,made of paper with a heat-resistant coating, has already been tested. It successfully drifted in both temperatures of up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit and tremendous winds.
Thanks to that test, the Japanese space agency says it will fund the project for three years. Eventually, the idea would be to toss a few of them out of the International Space Station. The hitch right now is figuring out how to track them once they're released.
the real question is: will the design be released? I want to make an ultimate paper airplane.
I agree. I wonder if PopSci got the design and didn't give it out. Or are the people that designed it not going to give it out?
I want to make it also. the ultimate paper airplane
Who doesn't want to make the ULTIMATE Paper Airplane?
Make a larger model to go through re-entry and put a six-axis radio tracker on the model
Heh heh heh...Only in Japan...Gotta love those little guys :-)
i have to say...awesome. finally something i was told i was wasting my time on is paying off. of course they won't release the design, too many copy-catters.china would knock it off and sell it for a buck at the dollar store.lol.
then anybody could throw airplanes off of the ISS. :) wouldn't that be like the ultimate experiment.
"so what are you doing today mr. famous astronaut?
"why i'm going to make paper airplanes and throw them out the window of the ISS. and get paid for it by the gov't. :)"
"but aren't paper airplanes just a waste of time like all of our teachers told us when we were kids?"
"of course not. read the japanese research. it's actually really important."