Ever heard of the Wooden satellite? Yes, you heard it right. The world’s first wooden satellite is all ready to be launched soon. A Finnish company called Arctic Astronautics is working on it to launch a wooden satellite named WISA Woodsat by the end of this year.
The satellite is made of plywood. Only the corners of the satellite are made of aluminium rails so they can be deployed in space. It is shaped like a box structure and is equal in measure from every side, i.e. 10×10×10 cm. The plan of sending this satellite is of ESA (Europe Space Agency). A selfie camera is also attached to it which is made of metal. Its function is to take pictures of the plywood satellite that how is it functioning up there. It will show the experiment if it is fit to use the wooden device and in what condition.
The WISA Woodsat has gone through pre-flight tests and indicated that it can go in high orbit as 500-600km as said: “despite its exposure to atomic oxygen”. The scientists, after anticipating that raw ultraviolet sunlight, can darken the wood of the satellite.
It will be launched from the Mahia Peninsula launch complex of New Zealand. The mission of this satellite is to test the applicability of wooden materials in spacecraft structures just like plywood in this case. It will be exposed to extreme conditions of weather like heat and cold. The name of the rocket they are going to use to send the satellite is Rocket Lab Electron.
Jari Makinen, the cofounder of Arctic Astronautics, has the main brain behind this to test wooden satellite. He wanted to know why wood is not used, hence this experiment was headed. His company makes satellite replicas that are fully functional and orbit-ready. His company usually makes these for educational or hobby purposes.
The wood that will be used in WISA Woodsat has been vacuum-dried to get rid of the humidity to avoid any trouble in space. It is a nano satellite shaped like a cube. It has attached sensors to it which are developed by ESA to monitor everything. Riccardo Rampini, held at ESA’s Materials says that ” The first item we’re embarking on is a pressure sensor, which will allow us to identify the local pressure in onboard cavities in some hours and days after launch into orbit”.
The sensors will monitor the sensitive effects either on the satellite’s circuit board or the wooden body. A new experiment is headed forward soon. The success of this experiment can make a place in the world’s history.