A long flight back to earth

If you like the sight of paper planes floating gently to earth, you will love the experiment being prepared by a Tokyo University professor: he's building 100 original origami planes, with specially-coated sheets, in a bid to record the longest flight ever for a paper airplane.

The plan is simple, but the execution is difficult. The plan goes like this: build the paper airplanes, ask an astronaut to take them into space, get him to launch them and then see how long it takes for them to come back down to earth.

The attempt is scheduled for later this year when a Japanese astronaut is scheduled to head to the International Space Station. Tokyo University's Shinichi Suzuki estimates that the 400-kilometre trip for the floating planes making their gliding descent through the earth's atmosphere will take several months. He hopes at least one or two will make it back and not get lost in one of our oceans.

I don't know about you but it seems like a really long shot to me.

The story was reported by the Times of London and you can read it here.

For a related post on oddities, see this item about a planned hotel in space

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