Together with Arctic Astronautics and Huld, UPM Plywood is on a mission to launch the first wooden satellite, WISA Woodsat, into Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021.
The goal is to gather data on the behavior and durability of plywood over an extended period in the harsh temperatures, vacuum and radiation of space in order to research the use of wood materials in space structures.
The nanosatellite is designed and built by Arctic Astronautics. It has a suite of on-board sensors and its two cameras are used to monitor the WISA-Birch plywood. Additionally, the space laboratory of the European Space Agency will provide a novel sensor suite for the mission. The satellite is powered by nine small solar cells.
The space project manager for UPM Plywood Ari Voutilainen says that the UPM’s mission as a company is to create a future beyond fossils and use renewable wood-based materials also in very demanding applications. “Houston, we have a solution”, Voutilanen says.
The satellite will be launched to polar orbit by Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle and it will take place from the Mahia Peninsula launch complex in New Zealand.
Read more here.