Space Outposts with Recycled Rocket Parts To Be A Reality
manufacturingtechnologyinsights

Space Outposts with Recycled Rocket Parts To Be A Reality

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Wednesday, November 20, 2019

NanoRack’s agreement with Maritime Launch will additionally secure the business’s commitment to innovate a more flexible and less risky path to develop in-space environments for future crewed purposes, instead of manufacturing modules on the ground and consequently launching them to orbit.

FREMONT, CA: Houston-based Nanoracks has got to an agreement with Canadian Maritime Launch Services to turn rocket second stages into Nanoracks Space Outposts. The two firms have settled to repurpose a spent C4M upper stage already in orbit following launch from Nova Scotia’s Canso Spaceport.

“We envision populating the solar system with efficient platforms that can serve as hotels, research parks, fuel depots, storage centers, and more,” said Nanoracks CEO, Jeffrey Manber. “We are proving time and time again that there are new ways to look at how we explore deep space, and that we need to think creatively but work cost-efficiently. This agreement with Maritime Launch will provide us with the in-orbit test bench second stage articles to do exactly that, and to grow our space industry even further.”

Aerospace

Nanoracks is also planning to carry out a brief yet decisive test in orbit. The business aims at robotically cutting a material representative of an upper stage in a self-reliant hosted payload. Then, the payload is planned to travel to orbit on an ESPA ring attached to an upper stage. However, Nanoracks has declined to reveal the launch provider. Furthermore, Maxar Technologies has been assigned to develop an articulating robotic arm with a tool for friction milling 3,000 revolutions per minute.

 

The high speed will assist in ensuring the metal melts and globs off rather than leaving shrapnel as remains. “We want to be good stewards of the orbital environment because we want to keep these Outposts up for a very long time. The milling technology is one of the critical path technologies to get us to the point where we can pressurize the enormous [liquid oxygen and hydrogen] tanks is to cut our way into those tanks on orbit,” affirms Adrian Mangiuca, Nanoracks commerce director. “Of course, there are other technologies like sealing the vent holes, welding the metal back up, and doing construction. But fundamental to that entire architecture is cutting.”

NanoRack’s agreement with Maritime Launch will additionally secure the business’s commitment to innovate a more flexible and less risky path to develop in-space environments for future crewed purposes, instead of manufacturing modules on the ground and consequently launching them to orbit.

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