Companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have reduced the cost of space travel drastically. Taking a kilogram of things into space now only costs $5,000, which was a massive $30,000 back in the olden days and NASA. Entrepreneurs are looking at this as an opportunity to explore what we can do with the resources of space like a vacuum, microgravity, unlimited solar power, and extreme temperatures. Great inventions are happening in the field of medicine, technology, and materials science.
We will take a look at a few applications that have explored manufacturing in space:
Printing a heart in 3D is not a new idea, but gravity becomes an obstacle when hearts are printed on the ground. NScrypt, Bioficial Organs and Techshot are the three startup companies that have teamed up to make possible a heart-breathing 3D. They use bio printable inks and a 3D printer to make a heart tissue. Techshot came up with the idea of heart printing for which nScrypt makes the stem cell printer, and Bioficial Organs provides the ink.
To print perfect heart tissue, bioinks need to grow for which the stem cell mixture and nutrients have an aqueous consistency. This requires a support structure to cultivate a heart, but that is not necessary for space. In 2016, they experimented with the process using an airplane that was 30,000 feet above the Gulf of Mexico to simulate weightlessness. This allowed the printer to drop the stem cells into a heart structure.
This was only the first step; The three companies together are planning to launch a printer on a commercial rocket to the International Space Station and print cardiac patches onboard by 2019.
Fiber optics are considered to be one of the most cost-effective ways of digital communication. The usual fiber optic cable costs about $3,000 to $5,000 a kilo. The most expensive of these can cost up to a few million dollars a kilogram. One of the most exotic of these is called ZBLAN, that has the best communication performance. Manufacturing ZBLAN on earth is possible, but the process is very complicated. A special kind of glass is heated to 300 degrees Celsius and then thrown down in long strings from a drop tower. The length of these threads is limited by the height of the tower, and ideally, we require cables that are thousands of meters long. Connecting portions of cable lead to a significant signal loss. In addition, gravity causes sedimentation in the crystal structure which also takes part in weakening the signal.
FOMS, A South California company has secured funding to begin manufacturing exotic optic fiber cables on the ISS. It is capable of transmitting a broader spectrum than the silica fibers using less power. Space produced ZBLAN cables can make fiber optic communication much cheaper and more reliable. These can also be employed in UV surgical lasers and infrared manufacturing tools.
Most of us are not aware of the pollution that creates electronic manufacturing. We call solar panels as a source of green energy, but we forget that adds to the pollution of our planet to produce panels. Silicon panels only convert 15-20% of radiant energy into usable power at 40% efficiency gallium arsenide panel. Unfortunately, manufacturing production of toxic byproducts of arsenic panel.
A gallium arsenide semiconductor Alex Ignatiev, in 1990 by a physical scientist at the University of Houston was developed back in intergalactic space. These semiconductors have thousands of times better quality than those made on the ground due to the presence of a vacuum. Increased clean layers without distortion of the wafer. It makes it much better than the performance of the panels as 60%.
The panel is unrealistic to think back on the ground or even crazier than this. This plan is not. Ignatiev spanning more than a kilometer, creating images of gallium arsenide panel arrays in orbit. This panel will reflect this energy to Earth through rotating receive sunlight at all times, while the earth in a geostationary orbit and microwave. Mesh-like receivers on the ground to collect the energy and diffuse enough to avoid damage to any form of life.
Another amazing feature of outer space is that it has the ability to break down toxic substances and driven them off harmlessly. So we will not have to worry about poisoning the earth orbit. People move to the dirty business of electronic chip manufacturing space to save the Earth concept.
Space is manufacturing large range risks and costs. Such losses in the event of a failed experiment will not only monetary but also lives with her. It’s a simple goal to improve the life chances of the world does not stop looking. If we are successful, we will heart space, electronic chips, or maybe even rockets printing.