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World’s first wooden satellite aims to prove plywood can survive space

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Woodsat will take plywood to new heights in orbit later this 12 months after acing a stratospheric take a look at flight.

Toothpicks. Tables. Crates. Spoons. Satellites? A formidable challenge will ship a tiny picket satellite tv for pc into orbit later this 12 months to see if it could possibly stand as much as the brutal circumstances of the area. It is already survived a take a look at run into the stratosphere.

The WISA Woodsat is a 4-inch (10-centimeter) sq. satellite tv for pc that is scheduled for a fall launch on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket in New Zealand. Attending to orbit is simply a part of the journey. As soon as it is there, the group will monitor the little dice to see how its plywood construct stands as much as chilly, warmth, radiation, and the vacuum of area.

Woodsat is the brainchild of Jari Makinen, co-founder of CubeSat’s duplicate equipment firm Arctic Astronautics. The European House Company, or ESA, is offering a set of sensors to trace the satellite tv for pc’s efficiency and also will assist with pre-flight testing.

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These birch plywood panels will make up the floor of the WISA Woodsat.Arctic Astronautics

The plywood satellite tv for pc’s solely non-wood components on the surface are aluminum rails wanted to launch the satellite tv for pc into area and an extendable selfie stick that may maintain a digicam pointed again on the physique. A extra typical CubeSat can be made with extra metallic elements.  

“The bottom materials for plywood is birch, and we’re utilizing mainly simply the identical as you’d discover in a ironmongery store or to make furnishings,” said Woodsat chief engineer and Arctic Astronatics co-founder Samuli Nyman in an ESA assertion final week. 

The plywood used within the satellite tv for pc has been dried out and treated to offer it a greater likelihood of standing as much as area circumstances. Woodsat’s group expects the outside to darken, however can even be seeking to see if any cracks develop whereas it is in orbit.

A Woodsat take a look at mannequin hitched a trip into the stratosphere on a climate balloon on June 12. “The primary aim of this quick flight was to make use of the techniques and digicam gear of the satellite tv for pc in space-like circumstances,” Arctic Astronautics said in a statement. The flight lasted slightly below three hours. The plywood got here out simply wonderful and the digicam labored as anticipated.

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A digicam on the take a look at mannequin of Woodsat captured this view of the climate balloon exploding as anticipated throughout a June 12, 2021 stratospheric take a look at flight.Arctic Astronautics

If Woodsat performs properly, it might spur a brand new have a look at wooden as a doable materials to be used in area. “Ultimately,” Makinen mentioned, “Woodsat is just a ravishing object by way of conventional Nordic design and ease, it must be very attention-grabbing to see it in orbit.”

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Rachel Ha
Industrial and agricultural product enthusiast. Expert on Vietnam economy. Focus on FTA agreements between Vietnam and other countries.
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