The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

You couldn`t make it up

origami aeroplanes 

To shift my sense of disbelief to subjects other than UK immigration, I came across this a few weeks ago but this is the first chance I`ve had to write about it.

According to this article the Japanese space agency is going to spend millions of Dollars to launch origami paper aeroplanes into space. The rational is that paper, being light, will mean a slower re-entry which will, in turn, lead to lower friction and thus heat and overall show that future space-planes could be made of lighterweight material. Nice idea but if you`ll excuse the pun…it`s not rocket science is it? The simple fact is aerodynamics aside heavy or light objects fall at the same speed, that was one of the first experiments I ever did in science at school if I remember correctly. Just give the heavy space shuttle bigger wings and it will fall slower. And as there is no way that the next generation space shuttle is going to be made out of paper, I am left wondering what exactly is the point of this?

About a hundred paper-planes will be released apparently and it is expected that they will glide slowly to earth over the rather un-practical time-scale of several months. Any that survive “may” be found by someone, somewhere and then “may” be sent back to Japan for study.

What a waste of money! If you perform an experiment you have to be able to analyse the result yet in this pointless exercise in galactic littering the result is not traceable unless someone, unconnected to the project, finds one of the planes, recognizes it as what it is among all the other garbage blowing around the ground and sends it back to Japan. Even when it gets there however, it is just paper there being no data collection chips or any other measuring devices attached to the paper at all.

What this exercise will achieve of course is the World record for the longest flight by a paper aeroplane (at least 400 kms if it falls straight down) to add to Japan`s growing list of pointless World Records like this, (has to be seen to be believed) this or this.

Off to work, talk later.

Damon

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One response

  1. i am gonna show this to my friend, dude

    March 25, 2008 at 10:28 pm

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