New Zealand to launch World’s First Wooden Satellite

European Space Agency (ESA) will  launch world’s first wooden satellite called WISA Woodsat in Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021.

WISA Woodsat

will be launched to test the applicability of wooden materials such as plywood in spacecraft structures. Mission will expose wooden materials to extreme space conditions like heat, cold, vacuum and radiation. Wooden satellite will be launched to space by end of 2021 with a Rocket Lab Electron rocket. It will be launched from Mahia Peninsula launch complex in New Zealand. Satellite has been designed and built in Finland.

Features of satellite

Satellite will orbit at around 500-600 km altitude in polar Sun-synchronous orbit. It is a10x10x10 cm nano satellite which was built up using standardised boxes and surface panels of plywood, which is usually found in hardware store and are used to make furniture. Wood have been placed in a thermal vacuum chamber to keep dry when it is in space. Thin layer of aluminium oxide has been applied to it to minimise vapour coming from wood and to protect it from erosive effects of atomic oxygen. The non-wooden external parts of satellite are corner aluminium rails which will be used for its deployment into space and a metal selfie stick.

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