Scientists will launch the world’s first wooden satellite called “The WISA Woodsat” made of plywood into space this year. The satellite to be sent will also carry a selfie stick.
WISA Woodsat, the world’s first wooden satellite developed by Finland-based Arctic Astronautics, has been announced to be launched later this year. The outer shell of the small satellite, which is stated to be durable enough to withstand the harsh environment of space, consists of birch plywood .
On July 9, the European Space Agency approved the launch of the tiny satellite and announced that it is scheduled to launch this year. The satellite will be launched by Rocket Lab‘s Electron rocket. The 10-centimeter-long Woodsat will carry a ” selfie stick ” with him to record his moments in space. Researchers think that when the satellite re-enters the atmosphere, it will burn completely and not contribute to the problem of space debris, which is an important problem for the planet, and may play a role in solving this problem in the future.
Wood is a good material for satellites
The wooden satellite idea was first introduced by Arctic Astronautics in 2015. The company’s chief strategy officer, Jari Mäkinen, said in a statement that he has been interested in space technologies since the 90s and thinks that wood, especially plywood, could be a good material for satellites.
In preliminary tests, the company sent a cube-shaped birch plywood test flight balloon. The material held up ” surprisingly well ” in the upper atmosphere, according to Mäkinen .
Arctic Astronautics isn’t the first to design wooden satellites. A company in Japan also announced in December that it was collaborating with Kyoto University to send a wooden satellite into space in 2023.
It is hoped that the satellite, which is planned to be sent into space towards the end of this year, can survive for two years in space. According to the researchers, this is a huge achievement for a box made of wood.