Advanced technology is getting back to nature with the testing of a satellite that is largely made from plywood. The Woodsat is the brainchild of engineer Jari Makinen, co-founder of a company called Arctic Astronautics. It is just 10cm cubed in size. Mr Makinen tested his DIY device in the stratosphere. He attached it to a weather balloon and it went to an altitude of 30km above Earth. As planned, the balloon exploded and Woodsat safely parachuted back to Earth. All communications equipment survived the harsh conditions as it came back.
Makinen plans to launch Woodsat into space this year to achieve his dream. He started a company to produce wooden replicas of orbit-ready miniature satellites. He explained: "I've always enjoyed making model planes that involve a lot of wooden parts. Having worked in the space education field, this got me wondering why we don't fly any wooden materials into space." He thought of the idea for Woodsat in 2017 and "the project just snowballed". He said: "We found commercial backing, and secured a [place] on...a launcher from Rocket Lab in New Zealand."