Meet the company that is taking manufacturing to space.
Building Among the Stars
Like SpaceX, Made In Space believes in making humanity a multi-planetary civilization. However, there’s a lot of work that remains to be done to make this a reality.
Today, if astronauts on the international space station need anything, the resources must be launched by rocket from Earth. The cost associated with this, both in monetary terms and environmental ones are huge. This is the problem Made In Space is trying to fix.
As part of the space boom, they received $20 million (USD) in funding from NASA to develop manufacturing capabilities in space. They’ve done just that. Launched in 2016, their Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) is the first commercially available 3D Printer in space. It was engineered to synthesize small objects in an zero-gravity environment.
3D Printing will only get more sophisticated.
Made In Space currently operates it’s AMF from it’s “Digital Launch Complex”, a term they use for their California office. From there, 3D printing developers seamlessly upload information up to their printer, effectively revolutionizing the way we send things to space.
As a result, Science fiction fans can imagine that we’re not too far away from Star Trek’s Replicator technology. Soon, perhaps even food will be able to be built in space, and that’s a good thing. With iterations and technological advancements, the manufacturing capabilities of space will become more robust and thus appealing to the masses.
Industry will naturally start to transition to space. Deep space exploration suddenly becomes a lot more realistic when you’re not shackled to an Earth-based supply-chain. With a viable alternative to the production needs of humanity, the economic case to stop building on Earth will also become more salient. As this happens, hopefully, we will look back on Earth as a precious resource that needs to be protected and the rest of space as a building ground to maintain our productivity standards.
Learn more about Made In Space