Wooden Satellite: Launch Date, Country

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 30, 2023, 19:49

WISA Woodsat, the world’s first wooden satellite was designed to launch into the Earth’s orbit in 2021. A nano-satellite made out of plywood, it was equipped with sensors and technology to become the first-ever wooden satellite to enter space. The wooden satellite project aims to test how well wood can survive the conditions in space and whether it can be used as a material for space applications.

The European Space Agency announced the plan to launch the first wooden satellite by November 2021. However, the launch was delayed due to some complications. In this article, we have shared more about wooden satellites, and when it is finally going to be launched.

What is Wooden Satellite?

The European Space Agency announced the plan to launch the first wooden satellite in 2021. The satellite was supposed to orbit at an altitude of 500-600 km in a sun-synchronous orbit. This wooden satellite mission planned to see whether or not wood is an appropriate material in space.

However, the satellite has not been launched yet. On the other hand, Japan has announced that it will be the first country to launch its wooden satellite in 2023. The team developing the satellite said that the wooden satellite would burn upon re-entering the earth’s orbit after its mission.

Why Launch Wooden Satellites?

Wooden satellites can soon be the next big thing in space exploration. In the past, the European Space Agency was all set to launch WISA Woodsat, the first wooden satellite. However, the operation was delayed. Here are some reasons why we want to launch wooden satellites into space.

  • The motive behind launching satellites with wooden exteriors is to experiment if it would be a suitable material for spacecraft.
  • Moreover, wood is a cheaper material to work with than aluminium.
  • There can be countless benefits of wooden satellites, which we are yet to explore.

First Wooden Satellite

Designed and manufactured in Finland by Arctic Astronautics, the WISA Woodsat, is a cube-shaped nano-satellite with dimensions 4x4x4 inches and a weight of 1kg. Wisa Woodsat is constructed using standardised boxes with surface panels made out of the same plywood used in furniture-making.

  • Before use, the wood is dried out and treated to improve its chances of survival in space as the original wood contains a lot of humidity.
  • The panels of the wooden satellite are treated with a thin layer of aluminium oxide that will prevent any release of gas and will also protect the surface from corrosion.
  • The only non-wooden parts of the wooden satellite are aluminium rails used for releasing it into space.
  • Two cameras are installed on the wooden satellite, one of which is attached to a selfie stick to keep track of how the material behaves and changes in the space environment.

Wooden Satellite - Mission

The European Space Agency provides a set of sensors to monitor the performance of the wooden satellite and help with pre-flight testing. The mission behind launching WISA Woodsat is to find out how wood performs in the heat, cold, vacuum, and radiation of space. Scientists will be able to study the behaviour, durability, and applicability of wood in space structures through this project.

  • The wooden satellite will be launched from New Zealand on a rocket named Electron developed by an American manufacturer, Rocket Lab.
  • According to the pre-flight tests, WISA Woodsat should survive in orbit of around 500 km.
  • However, scientists expect the wooden satellite to get dark from exposure to UV radiation.
  • The success of the project will give a low-cost, environment-friendly device that should find future space applications.

Wooden Satellite - Results

The impending launch of a wooden satellite represents a significant new feat in space exploration, which is likely to have an impact on research facilities and space agencies across the world.

Results and data generated by this launch will be closely monitored to ascertain the place of wood in future satellites and space exploration missions.

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FAQs About Wooden Satellite

Q1. Which country will launch the first wooden satellite by 2023?

Japan will be the first country to launch the world’s first wooden satellite by 2023. Earlier, New Zealand had plans to launch a nanosatellite named WISA Woodsat in 2021, but the plan got delayed. However, Japan is all set to launch its own wooden satellite soon.

Q2. When will the first wooden satellite be launched?

The first wooden satellite is expected to be launched in 2023 by Japan. A team set by Kyoto University and led by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Takao Doi is developing a wooden satellite that is all set to launch into space by 2023.

Q3. What are the benefits of wooden satellites?

There can be many benefits of wooden satellites. Wood is a cheaper material to work with than aluminium. Launching a satellite with wooden exteriors will help us determine if wood is a suitable material for engineering spacecraft.

Q4. Which other countries will launch wooden satellites?

Japan is working on a plan to launch the world’s first satellite partially made of wood in 2023. The project is aimed at harnessing the environment-friendliness of wood and the low cost of production.

Q5. Who made the first wooden satellite?

The first-ever wooden satellite is made by Arctic Astronauts, a company based in Finland that crafts CubeSat kits for students. The project also involves UPM Plywood and a design company Huld. The first wooden satellite was called WISA Woodsat.

Q6. What is the name of the first wooden satellite?

The name of the first wooden satellite was WISA Winsat. Developed by the European Space Agency, the wooden satellite was all set to be launched into space in 2021. However, the operation was delayed and the satellite has not been launched yet.