Made In Space (Redwire)

Made In Space is a space-based manufacturing company founded in 2010, which started by making 3D printers usable in microgravity.

Created: 2018-11-01

Updated: 2022-02-20

Founded
Country
2010
USA
Funding
$100M+
Website
Made In Space
Social
Made In Space (Redwire)

Service - Archinaut

Classification
In-Space Manufacturing
Category
In-Space Manufacturing
In-Space Assembly
Fields
ZBLAN
Large Space Structures
Additive Manufacturing (3D printing)
Orbital Microfabrication
Status
2) Demonstrated
First launch
2018

In parallel they privately funded the development of expertise and technology to produce fibre in space. Their first fibre machine visible on Figure 5 was launched to the ISS in 2017 to test the system and draw some fiber. Same unit was returned to Earth and sent back to ISS again in 2018. More fiber was drawn in April 2018 and the unit was returned to Earth in the summer of 2018. The results are proprietary, but in August 2018 they raised their first outside funding round when before they primarily sustained themselves through government grants.

[The Turbine Ceramic Manufacturing Module (CMM)](http://The Turbine Ceramic Manufacturing Module (CMM)) is a commercial in-space manufacturing device designed to demonstrate proof-of-principle single-piece ceramic turbine blisk manufacturing in microgravity for terrestrial use. 
Manufacturing turbine components in microgravity could produce parts with better performance including higher strength and lower residual stress, due to a reduction in defects caused by gravity, such as sedimentation and composition gradients. This technology demonstrates potential use of the space station for unique manufacturing capabilities which could increase commercial utilization of ISS. 
CMM also represents the addition of an entirely new 3D printing technology on the ISS. This facility will be the first stereolithography (SLA) printer to operate on orbit. This 3D printing method employs UV-curable resin and a UV laser to form 3D printed objects. SLA printing is ideal for manufacturing high-accuracy parts with complex geometries. MIS pioneered manufacturing capabilities in space with its first- and second-generation 3D printers, with on-orbit operations dating back to 2014.  

  • Developing a Glass Alloy Manufacturing Machine (GAMMA), an experimental system designed to investigate how glass alloys form without the effects of gravity-induced flaws. The microgravity environment of space is expected to enable much higher quality glass products by eliminating the Earth-based impacts of convection, sedimentation, and solute buildup, which lead to nucleation, or crystal-forming sites in the materials. This system could improve processes for commercial product development. Product applications include optical fiber, lenses, and optical devices across several market segments including telecommunications, sensors and laser technology industries.
  • Developing an autonomous, high throughput manufacturing capability for production of high quality, lower cost semiconductor chips at a rapid rate. Terrestrial semiconductor chip production suffers from the impacts of convection and sedimentation in the manufacturing process. Fabricating in microgravity is expected to reduce the number of gravity-induced defects, resulting in more usable chips per wafer. Market applications include semiconductor supply chains for telecommunications and energy industries. 

The Industrial Crystallization Facility is a commercial in-space manufacturing facility designed to demonstrate microgravity-enhanced techniques for growing inorganic KDP crystals that are commonly used in high-energy laser systems on Earth.

Redwire to Demonstrate In-Space Additive Manufacturing for Lunar Surface on the International Space Station. RRP is a technology demonstration mission, developed in partnership with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The mission will demonstrate autonomous, on-orbit 3D printing with regolith feedstock material using Redwire’s Additive Manufacturing Facility currently aboard the ISS. Redwire will launch three custom-design 3D printing heads and three print bed surfaces on NG-16 to support RRP’s on-orbit operations.

Turbine Superalloy Casting Module - Redwire will be launching the Turbine Superalloy Casting Module (TSCM), a commercial in-space manufacturing device designed to provide proof-of-principle for polycrystalline superalloy part manufacturing in microgravity for terrestrial use. Applications for this technology include turbine engines in industries such as aerospace and power generation. TSCM was developed in partnership with NASA’s ISS Research Integration Office at Johnson Space Center.

MVP-PLANT-01 - MVP-PLANT-01 is an investigation launching on SpaceX-24 that will use Redwire’s Multi-Use Variable-Gravity Platform (MVP) to profile and monitor shoot and root development of plants in microgravity to understand the regulatory mechanisms involved in plant responses to a novel environment. MVP-PLANT-01 can contribute designing plants to withstand extreme terrestrial environments and long-duration spaceflight. The investigation will also validate Redwire MVP Phytofuge experiment modules for future plant investigations on the ISS. The Phytofuge module is one of several different experiment modules developed for use in conjunction with the MVP facility. The modules were developed by Redwire engineers to enable early-stage seedling plant growth in a variable gravity environment.

Veggie PONDS-03R - Also launching on SpaceX-24 is Veggie PONDS-03R, a technology demonstration that explores how plants respond to microgravity and demonstrates technology for reliable vegetable production on orbit. This flight will also validate the Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (PONDS) hardware, which was originally developed by Tupperware Brands and validated by recently acquired Techshot. The PONDS hardware is designed for flight inside NASA’s Vegetable Production System (Veggie) facility. PONDS can grow a wide variety of plants in space and requires far less monitoring and maintenance time from flight crews than other passive plant growth devices.

Unlocking the Cotton Genome to Precision Genetics - Also as part of the SpaceX-24 mission, Redwire is working with researchers from Clemson University to support the Unlocking the Cotton Genome to Precision Genetics (Plant Habitat-05) investigation, which will utilize the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH), an automated plant growth facility managed by Redwire that is used to conduct bioscience research aboard ISS. The investigation will cultivate several cotton genotypes from cotton plant tissue cultures exposed to spaceflight. This project is sponsored by the ISS National Lab and stems from a previous Cotton Sustainability Challenge. The knowledge gained from the investigation could enable the growth of cotton plants that more efficiently use water and adapt to changing environments.

News, Research, Projects and Patents

Title Type Date Summary
How In-Space Manufacturing Will Impact the Global Space Economy News 2020-06-22
Redwire acquires Made In Space News 2020-06-23 Made In Space, a pioneer of in-space manufacturing and assembly technologies, is being acquired by Redwire, a new venture that is rolling up a number of smaller space companies.
Made In Space to Launch First Ceramic Manufacturing Facility to the International Space Station News 2020-09-22 The Turbine Ceramic Manufacturing Module (CMM) is a commercial in-space manufacturing device designed to demonstrate proof-of-principle single-piece ceramic turbine blisk manufacturing in microgravity for terrestrial use.
Mobile End-Effector Laser Device (MELD) Project 2019-06-20 Development of Mobile Welding Capabilities for In-Space Manufacturing
Forging the Future: Why Multi-Material Manufacturing will be the Key to Long-Duration Spaceflight Missions Article 2020-04-14 Metal and electronics manufacturing, along with regolith printing, address the coming needs for increased resiliency and ISRU Artemis will present in the next few years.
Made In Space makes ceramic turbine part in orbit in another 3D printing milestone News 2020-12-22 The Florida-based company just built its first ceramic part in orbit, 3D printing a single-piece turbine "blisk" (short for "bladed disk") on board the [International Space Station](https://www.space.com/16748-international-space-station.html) (ISS)..
NASA awards $73.7 million to Made In Space for orbital demonstration News 2019-07-12 NASA awarded a $73.7 million contract to Made In Space to additively manufacture ten-meter beams onboard Archinaut One, a small satellite scheduled to launch in 2022.
Made In Space Europe wins LSA contract to develop inexpensive robotic arm News, Project 2019-12-09 Made In Space Europe won a Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) contract to develop an inexpensive robotic arm for space applications.
Expanding Our Horizons: How In Space Manufacturing Can Develop the Next Generation of Space Telescopes and Space-Based Radar Systems News 2020-03-13 Robotic manufacturing and assembly in space will improve the way we utilize space, build infrastructure, and enable humanity to create the structures and assemblies required to explore new worlds.
Made in Space to Launch Plastics Recycler to ISS News 2019-10-22 Made in Space announced on Monday that it will send a system to the International Space Station (ISS) next month that will recycle plastic waste. The Braskem Recycler will produce plastic feed stock that will be used in Made in Space’s additive manufacturing facility (AMF) aboard ISS.
THE RACE TO MANUFACTURE ZBLAN Article 2020-12-11 High-performance ZBLAN fibers would be extremely valuable back on Earth, and several commercial companies such as Fiber Optics Manufacturing in Space (FOMS), Made In Space (MIS), and Physical Optics Corporation (POC) are currently pursuing in-orbit production of ZBLAN fiber. Initial results have been promising, and successful ZBLAN fiber production on the ISS National Lab could pave the way for future large-scale commercial manufacturing of ZBLAN in low Earth orbit.
Made In Space to Step Up Off-Earth Production of Valuable Optical Fiber News 2019-09-09 A slightly bigger ZBLAN-manufacturing machine will be going up to the space station soon. Off-Earth production of the valuable optical fiber ZBLAN will soon reach Phase 2, if all goes according to plan. "We're going to launch a slightly larger facility to the space station in about the next year or so to produce more material, both for additional study and for potential sale.
NASA Selects Proposals for In-Space Development of Projects Including Optical Fibers and Stem Cells and a Plan to Enable a Low-Earth Orbit Economy News 2020-04-07 NASA selected seven proposals submitted in response to the Research Opportunities for ISS Utilization NASA Research Announcement (NRA) seeking in-space manufacturing and regenerative medicine flight demonstrations.

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