Creating factories in space is not a whim of billionaires detached from reality, but rather projects that develop and materialize little by little. Like Jeff Bezos, president of Blue Origin, which aims to send polluting industries into space, the space research company Varda Space aims to be the first to build a factory in space by teaming up at SpaceX, which should be as early as 2023.
An industrial factory in space? The Varda Space project may seem far-fetched – there is no shortage of space on Earth to design factories – but it could lead to the development of industries on the ground.
The interest of Farda is to use microgravity to create new materials or to advance research on specific products on the International Space Station. According to TechCrunch, for example, we can make bio-printed devices orEven if nothing is announced for the moment because no contract has been signed with the customer.
To perform the flight, Varda Space must find partners to perform the flight in low earth orbit. It is the place The latest show shows companies looking to send objects into space to take advantage of one of their scheduled flights to do so. In short, the two companies are on a space trip together. When they reach their destination, they go their separate ways and everyone gets to work. In short, a sort of “spatial carpooling”. A little different from your Sunday trip between Angers and Paris …
Varda Space has announced that it wants to move its factory to a , Properties , before the start of 2023 From SpaceX, it will carry the supplies needed to set up the plant in space. If the companies don’t disclose any of the terms of the contract, we know the machine will spend about three months in orbit testing these new manufacturing technologies.
Landing, the most important moment of the mission
However, another firing option was explored using . But Varda Space didn’t want to put all of her eggs in one basket, as the New Zealand company would provide the spacecraft to house the supplies, as well as the capsule to return to Earth. A very important capsule since the return It is done at Mach 28 and the material must not break .through
In fact, the most complex moment from industrialization to recovery remains the moment of re-entry. Mach 28 is double the speed of sound (1224 km / h). Think of the sci-fi movies in which we see the capsule come back to Earth. Now imagine transporting sensitive materials through this precarious environment while absorbing many outside influences. This will undoubtedly be one of the pivotal moments of the mission.
Unlike other specialized communication or imagery spacecraft, Varda Space and its It does not require a specific mission track. Just stay there . The lessons learned on that first trip can empower others to implement them. Varda Space hopes to launch a second or even a third by the end of 2024.
A date that remains elusive, allowing other projects to see the light of day. For example, we know that the European Union is working on this subject with the “Period” project, which aims to develop an orbital factory. It will focus on the assembly and manufacture of satellites directly from space in partnership with Airbus. Whatever the case, these ambitious projects are opening up new horizons for manufacturers and entrepreneurs from all walks of life.
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