I’ve been making paper cranes, turtles, flowers and hearts for 10 years now. I’ve got boxes of the paper creations all over my house back in Massachusetts. A couple of weeks ago, I got out my origami paper and started making dozens of cranes and turtles while watching TV. By the end of the night, I had made nearly 30 of the little critters.
Now with instructional videos on YouTube, learning origami is a lot easier than having to look at paper instructions, which I find are hard to follow. A friend from Japan taught me how to do origami. She started me off with real tiny paper and taught me the importance of making sure every fold lined up. A sloppy fold could mean a broken wing on a crane or a lopsided leg on a turtle. Since learning all this, I’ve become fascinated by paper folding, which is why an Associated Press article about the Japanese wanting to launch a paper airplane from space caught my eye yesterday.
Japanese scientists and origami masters hope to launch a paper airplane from space and learn from its trip back to Earth.
It’s no joke. A prototype passed a durability test in a wind tunnel last month, Japan’s space agency adopted it Wednesday for feasibility studies, and a well-known astronaut is interested in participating.
A successful flight from space by an origami plane could have far-reaching implications for the design of re-entry vehicles or space probes for upper atmospheric exploration, said project leader Shinji Suzuki, a professor at Tokyo University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
The article continues:
“You may think it’s impossible, but we scientists are all extremely interested. I think it’s a great experiment,” said Miyazaki, the Nihon University engineer.
“No matter how it turns out, a paper craft flight from space would tell us many things,” Miyazaki said. “The fact that a paper shuttle has endured the harsh environment in the lab tests also provides valuable data for future aerospace technology.”
Seems pretty interesting. Talk about having to make precise folds …