January 21, 2008

Paper Planes in Space... Uh, What?!?

Even as schoolkids fantasize about being astronauts, it seems some astronauts dream of being schoolkids again.

Pink Tentacle is reporting via the Asahi Shinbum that the University of Tokyo has teamed up with the Japan Origami Airplane Association to bring you a paper plane that can fly in outer space. The idea is that the intrepid crew on board the ISS can launch this sucker from the station and let it glide gently into orbit.

Well, "gently" is relative. The paper glider is being tested to go whizzing around the planet at up to 5,300 miles an hour—a snail's pace compared to the actual shuttle's top speeds of 15,200 mph.

Not only that, this intricately folded plane will be treated to withstand extreme heat so that it can survive re-entry and land back on Earth.

How does one say "wtf?" in Japanese?

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