NASA has partnered up with Made In Space to demonstrate a new spacecraft that will 3D print spacecraft components in Earth's lower-orbit.
Made In Space and NASA will soon be bringing Archinaut One to lower-earths orbit when the launch of the Rocket Lab Electron rocket takes to the skies from New Zealand in 2022. The spacecraft will be "positioned in low-Earth orbit, the spacecraft will 3D-print two beams that extend 32 feet (10 meters) out from each side of the spacecraft." The craft will be equipped with solar panels that will generate five times more power than normal solar panles the same size spacecraft. These solar panels will act as energy sources for when the craft is manufacturing.
Here is the official description: "Once it's positioned in low-Earth orbit, the spacecraft will 3D-print two beams that extend 32 feet (10 meters) out from each side of the spacecraft. As manufacturing progresses, each beam will unfurl two solar arrays that generate up to five times more power than traditional solar panels on spacecraft of similar size. The in-space technology demonstration marks the start of the second phase of a partnership established through NASA's Tipping Point solicitation."
The above video is a demonstration video that has been released onto the NASA video YouTube channel, check it out to see what we have planned for space in 2022.