The project contains huge three-dimensional components in space rather than being put there Collected $ 73.7 million contract From NASA to show the technique in space. Archinaut, A task now several years in the development of the manufacture in space, can be launched as early as 2022.
The problem is: if you want a spacecraft to have 60 feet of solar arrays, you need to put a 60-foot structure for those arrays to install – you can not turn it around like a tape. But where do 60-foot or 30-foot poles, or even 10 feet by six feet, fail when you have only a few cubic feet of space to put them in? It is fast and truly complex to take elements with one large dimension in space.
Simple Archinaut solution. Why not only take materials for this long component in space and print them immediately? There is no compressed method for keeping the material more than a solid material.
It is natural that this extends to more than just rods and poles – materials from large materials for objects such as light sails and intricate intricate structures that can be fitted with other components … There are many things that can not be absorbed into space in one piece, But can be made of smaller if necessary. Here's one of the tools designed to link tools at a large fixed distance from a central vehicle:
Made in Space already has valid contracts with NASA, and showed the three-dimensional printing of parts on board the ISS. It has also shown that it can Print stuff in an artificial vacuum More or less equivalent space environment.
The mission of the protesters, Archinaut One, will be launched on the Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle no later than 2022, and after a stable orbit, a package of 32-foot beams will be launched. These will be accompanied by flexible solar arrays that open at the same rate, connected to the rigid structures of the beams. When it is finished, the automatic arm will lock it in place and clean the other rooms.
You can see all this happening in this unfortunate video:
Once completed, this pair of 32-foot solar arrays generates, theoretically, about five times the force normally attracted by a spacecraft of this magnitude. Because spacecraft is almost without exception of systems hungry for power, and have more watts to use or store the orbits equivalent to a rainy day will certainly be welcome.
In another edition, the robot arm can rearrange parts, pick up connectors and perform other tasks to create more complex structures like those in the concept. This is still good in the future – however – the current protestors' mission will focus on the square thing, although the team will certainly learn a lot about how to accomplish other construction in this process.
Of course, manufacturing within space is a major concern for a country planning to create a permanent presence on and around the moon. Making something out there is much easier than offering a quarter of a million miles. You can keep up with Archinaut and Made in space Other projects along the space printing line In the company's blog.