A satellite tv for pc fabricated from wooden feels like an idea ripped from the pages of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks. However Finnish firm Arctic Astronautics needs to launch one into house by the top of 2021.
The WISA Woodsat, a microsatellite constructed out of plywood, was hoisted via weather balloon Saturday nearly 20 miles above Earth. It was within the stratosphere to check the plywood development in space-like circumstances.
It was armed with a selfie persist with doc its journey and a sensor package deal supplied by the European Space Agency.
A bodily unimposing 4-inch dice, Woodsat’s “space plywood,” made by UPM Plywood, is dried out in a vacuum chamber and coated in a skinny layer of aluminum oxide to maintain it from degrading amid the highly reactive oxygen above the Earth’s environment.
The little wood satellites are constructed for easy radio communication, and are capable of ship messages and pictures around the globe between floor relay stations. They’re extra sustainable spinoffs of Arctic Astronautics’ Kitsats, that are meant for use by hobbyists and college students for instructional functions.
The Woodsat’s first flight lasted for almost three hours earlier than the balloon popped (on objective) and the satellite tv for pc careened again to Earth, the place it was efficiently recovered with no sudden harm.
The satellite tv for pc will probably be launched into orbit by non-public house firm Rocket Labs’ Electron rocket.
On the sustainability entrance, making satellites out of plywood as an alternative of aluminum or metal takes a lot much less of a toll on the atmosphere. Plus plywood is so much cheaper.
Crewed satellites just like the Worldwide Area Station will not be fabricated from wooden anytime quickly, due to the strain exerted from the oxygen contained in the station and the specter of tiny meteoroid punctures. However communication satellites do not should be fairly as structurally robust.
This might be a mannequin for cheaper, extra sustainable satellites — so long as the orbital take a look at goes effectively.