Japanese Professor Goes Intergalactic in Search for World Paper Plane Record

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Japanese Professor Goes Intergalactic in Search for World Paper Plane Record

A team from the University of Tokyo is working on a paper airplane to be launched from outer space. Meanwhile, back on Earth, thousands of competitors are fighting it out around the world for a precious ticket to the Red Bull Paper Wings World Final 2011 (May 04-05) at Hangar-7, Salzburg.

With national qualifiers taking place all in all four corners of the world ahead of the Red Bull Paper Wings World Final at Salzburg’s Hangar 7, even the high-tech world of space travel couldn’t resist getting in on the paper plane fever.

A team led by Professor Shinichi Suzuki of the University of Tokyo in Japan is in the process of testing a paper airplane they want to launch from the International Space Station (ISS) to glide back to the Earth’s surface. The plan is for Japan’s next astronaut to launch one hundred of the 30g designs from the station’s orbit 400km into space.

If the competitors from over 85countries taking part in Red Bull Paper Wings 2011 thought they had it tough, then they should take a look at the climatic challenges faced by Prof. Suzuki. So far, the prototypes developed and tested in the lab have been able to survive winds up to seven times the speed of sound, and temperatures approaching 300 degrees Celsius – conditions far more extreme than those the plane would be subjected to when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Search for Prof. Suzuki online to get the latest news about his projects!

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