Develop advanced technologies to enable organizations for in-situ design and fabrication of products needed for space exploration.
Space exploration is dependent upon facilities located in orbit and throughout our solar system. The future space facilities will be more complex than the current International Space Station and are expected to be self-sustaining and self-sufficient in operation and communication with Earth.
Space station must have the capability for manufacturing, not only to repair and to replace parts of other space vehicles, but also to build components for larger structures.
Astronauts and space explorers must work in a self-sustained environment with capabilities for manufacturing of components and structures in support of missions or in case of an emergency when lives must be saved.
Development of an infrastructure to manufacture components in space has become a reality. Furthering this effort will lead to placing space factories in space orbits.
A self-contained Space Manufacturing Module could be equipped with:
Universal Configurable/Sliding Platform Module
Materials would be delivered to the space Manufacturing system’s Manufacturing Module from Earth or other locations such as a space station or celestial body outposts/colonies.
Space Manufacturing Systems
The orbital heat loads, heat fluxes, and orbital conditions were simulated with computer software. Using typical methods of thermal protection including the use of Muli-layer Insulatio(MLI) and in circulation on the internal surfaces, the equipment on the module was kept in a desired temperature range at Low Earth Orbital conditions.
Advanced Thermal Research
It was also discovered that MLI works better as thermal protection insulation than Kevlar and Carbon Fiber alone. The Low Earth Orbit thermal protection system designed would also work for higher Earth orbits, such as a geosynchronous orbit.
Universal Manufacturing Module
The need to fabricate or assemble components is accomplished through the use of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) methodology and practices.
In CIM Methodology, engineering data is shared through the use of CAD/CAE/CAM and are implemented concurrently internet of things (IoT).
Virtual Reality is used on Earth to verify the engineering design and data prior to it transmission to the module.
Space Manufacturing Module System and Method
A space based manufacturing system including a control module and a manufacturing module. The manufacturing module contains the tools required for automated processing of materials into finalized components. The control module allows command and control of the manufacturing module as well as communication with earth based systems. For component manufacture, the component requiring manufacture is identified in space, designed and engineered on earth, and manufactured in space using computer integrated manufacturing to tie these processes together. The astronaut in the control module monitors the safety of the manufacturing operation and may control manufacturing in real time.
US 7988096 B2
Space Structure Construction Logistics
The integrated logistics support methodology is utilized in this construction process to build structures in space. This study describes a vision and methodology to enable mankind to develop means to manufacture in space. The specific area of manufacturing, in this study, addresses the fabrication of new components and replacement parts for emergency and repair refurbishment of satellites and spacecraft in-situ.
Modular Manufacturing: CIM in Space Application
This study describes a vision and methodology to enable mankind to develop means to manufacture in space. The specific area of manufacturing, in this study, addresses the fabrication of new components and replacement parts for emergency and repair refurbishment of satellites and spacecraft in-situ.
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