Product/Service - Farview Observatory
- In-Space Manufacturing
- In-Space Manufacturing
Resources - Energy
- Early stage
- First launch
- Not announced
- DSTAR Communications
Focusing on manufacturing and energy generation in the space environment utilizing space resources to create breakthrough technologies to facilitate the large-scale commercialization of the Moon.
Rhea Space Activity (RSA) and its partner Lunar Resources pitched to the Air Force a concept to deploy two spacecraft to manufacture a large mirror in space. The mirror would be installed, in orbit, into a telescope that would be used to detect hypersonic vehicles. Lunar Resources is an in-space manufacturing company that helped RSA develop the concept for how to construct a very large EO/IR mirror in space. One of the payloads would “spray paint” the optical coatings needed to make the EO/IR mirror on a small satellite dubbed Ruby Sky. At the Space Pitch Day event, the Air Force awarded Lunar Resources a $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 contract, with RSA as a subcontractor, to get the project moving.
Partners with DSTAR Communications which has established a team to create an external material processing platform on the International Space Station with autonomous, high throughput manufacturing capability. Markets for products manufactured by this facility include infrared optical fibers in medical and defense applications and ultralight solar arrays for commercial and military space platforms. The unique microgravity environment of space eliminates convection and sedimentation that occur on Earth, enabling the manufacture of premium quality materials and products with fewer defects and improved performance. In addition, the vacuum of space enables vacuum deposition in the same facility for improved reliability and improved functionality of the resulting products.
The FarView Observatory is a conceptual next generation radio observatory located on the far side of the Moon. Built from resources extracted from the lunar regolith, it will cover a 200 square kilometer area and contain more than 100,000 dipole antennas with the goal of studying the Cosmic Dark ages, before the first stars formed, by detecting and characterizing the first structures to form in the Universe. In addition, FarView will study solar Coronal Mass Ejections and magnetic phenomena in the solar system and in nearby exoplanet systems.
The MW program is a multi-technology program to construct large-scale power grids on lunar surface from in-situ produced power grid elements. These elements include in-situ photovoltaic arrays and transmission lines to generate and distribute ultra-low cost electrical power on the lunar surface at a global scale.
The Satellite Servicing Coating program is focused on repairing degraded functional coatings on orbiting satellites. Targeted repairing applications include satellites’ radiator coatings, optical surface reflecting coatings, and radiation coatings.
The Regolith Additive Manufacturing program leverages Lunar Resources PE3D additive manufacturing technology to fabricate vertical and horizontal structures from lunar regolith without binding material. The program is a revolution in lunar additive manufacturing as it utilizes the PE3D low-average source power capabilities to efficiency additively manufacture regolith with high density, low power, and no consumables in complex structures.
Lunar Resources' molten regolith electrolysis technologies are leading the extraction of high purity oxygen and metals from the lunar soil. The technologies utilize no consumable reagents or supplies, able to process any type of lunar soil, and designed to be operated at large-scale allowing humanity to utilize the resources of space economically.
Lunar Resources is pioneering a range of metallurgy technologies related to casting and alloying metals in low gravity and vacuum environments. Current technology focuses include production of manufacturing feedstock, structural elements, and cables.
From producing atomically ordered thin film materials to additively manufacturing large metal structures can be accomplished with Lunar Resources space manufacturing technologies. Lunar Resources is developing technologies to additively manufacture metal and metal oxide feedstock, perform deposition in the vacuum of space, and weld materials in space and on the Moon.
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