A tiny Finnish CubeSat could become the world’s first plywood satellite later this year, complete with a selfie stick to capture the occasion. Arctic Astronautics, Ltd. of Finland, the European Space Agency, or ESA, and Finland-based forester UPM, producer of WISA plywood, are all working on the WISA Woodsat. The ESA certified the Woodsat for launch on July 9 after rigorous evaluation of its birch-plywood outer shell. Jari Mäkinen, the chief strategy officer of Arctic Astronautics, first proposed WISA Woodsat in 2015. Plywood is an eco-friendlier alternative to Kitsat’s polymer exterior enclosure. Furthermore, utilizing plywood on a satellite sent into low-Earth orbit could result in expended satellites burning up after losing power and falling back to Earth, preventing the satellite from contributing to the hundreds of bits of space debris circling the globe.
The Crossroads of Special Operations