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Origami Spacecraft
First ever paper airplane space flight! I hope they post the file so you can fold up your own, Pink Tentacle writes –

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have teamed up with members of the Japan Origami Airplane Association to develop a paper aircraft capable of surviving the flight from the International Space Station to the Earth’s surface.

The researchers are scheduled to begin testing the strength and heat resistance of an 8 centimeter (3.1 in) long prototype on January 17 in an ultra-high-speed wind tunnel at the University of Tokyo’s Okashiwa campus (Chiba prefecture). In the tests, the origami glider — which is shaped like the Space Shuttle and has been treated to withstand intense heat — will be subjected to wind speeds of Mach 7, or about 8,600 kilometers (5,300 miles) per hour.

Origami spaceplane to launch from space station – Link & more (Japanese site).

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Paper Airplane Contest – Make: Video Podcast – Link.

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Fantastic Flight – Link.


Making a paper airplane a day… for 300 days – Link.

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HOW TO – Supercharge a paper airplane – Link.

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The Online Paper airplane museum – Link.

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Electric paper airplane launcher kit – Link.


  • nick

    paper airplane photo.

    http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/images/20080118p2a00m0na024000p_size5.jpg

    i’m not entirely sure it’s made by origami. it’s sponsored by the paper folding society, but I can’t tell if it’s folded.

  • Ryan

    I believe I’m missing a major part of this, as I’m not reading the full story and its been awhile since I took science class.

    But, doesn’t space have a lack of gravity? And you only get gravity around a large mass, like the earth, moon etc? (please note that this isn’t an invitation for a six paragraph explanation of gravity). Rather, a question about the fact that the plane would just fly in a straight line and not fly down to the earth.

  • hanelyp

    Orbit isn’t from a lack of gravity, but from moving sideways fast enough that the ground falls away as fast as the satellite falls towards the ground. So a satellite falls but keeps missing the ground. A paper spaceplane released from the ISS would initially follow the ISS in orbit. However there is a small amount of air drag even at that altitude, which should slow the paper spaceplane out of orbit before too long.

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