NASA awarded a $73.3-million contract to Made In Space for them to demonstrate the ability to 3D-print and assmeble spacecraft parts in orbit using Archinaut One. This robotic manufacturing ship is set to launch in 2022 aboard the Rocket Lab Electron rocket and 3D-print two 32-foot beams on each side. These beams will unfurl into two solar arrays that could produce up to five times more power than traditional panels found on spacecraft this size. Read more for a video and additional information.
“In-space robotic manufacturing and assembly are unquestionable game-changers and fundamental capabilities for future space exploration. By taking the lead in the development of this transformative technology, the United States will maintain its leadership in space exploration as we push forward with astronauts to the moon and then on to Mars,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.