Made In Space’s latest satellite construction robot could begin a new generation of autonomous machines and tools working on the moon and even perhaps on the Red Planet. On 25th October 2019, representatives from the California based company, Made In Space and NASA, discussed the future opportunities for in-space manufacturing at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). They talked about how this step will reduce the complications and costs of shipping instruments around the solar system. Made In Space’s vice president of advanced concept and programs, Justin Kugler revealed that one of the significant advantages of in-space manufacturing is that it would allow the construction of components and tools that are too big to fit atop a rocket. It will also help the fragile structures that cannot survive the rigorous nature of the launch. Now designers could easily optimize the service life of a satellite, provided to withstand those first 15 minutes to breach the Earth’s gravity and the atmosphere.
Archinaut One will be one of the first major tests of this technology. It is a spacecraft developing by Made In Space with the aid of $73.7 million in NASA funding. Archinaut One will 3D-print two 10 meters (or 32 feet) long beams in Earth orbit, which will be on either side of the spacecraft. NASA officials said in July; those beams would then unfurl solar arrays that can generate five times more power than traditional panels used by similar-size spacecraft. It is expected to launch around 2022.
At the IAC presentation, Kugler claimed that Archinaut One would do more but with less because the craft will defeat the traditional small-satellite power constraints. He then added, Made In Space will even use the opportunity to test a broadband-radio frequency instrument from Northrop Grumman. NASA’s lunar surface initiative calls for an array of demonstrative missions in the 2020s will help their partners to assemble for a human mission to Mars. The agency aims to launch its next giant leap to Mars in 2033 or 2035, as informed by Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administration.