Made In Space to Launch First Ceramic Manufacturing Facility to the International Space Station
Jacksonville, FL– September 22, 2020 – Made In Space, Inc. (MIS)—a subsidiary of Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components—announced today that it will send the first ceramic manufacturing facility to the International Space Station (ISS) on Northrop Grumman’s 14th commercial resupply mission (NG-14).
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. NG-14 is set to launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia no earlier than Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 10:26 p.m. EDT.
“This mission is an exciting opportunity that further demonstrates the value of the ISS as a platform for commercial innovation and utilization,” said Michael Snyder, Chief Engineer of Made In Space and Chief Technology Officer of Redwire. “Through our partnership with NASA, we are identifying and developing advanced manufacturing processes on orbit that could yield sustainable demand from terrestrial markets. CMM is the first of several missions that could signal a new market for space enabled products.”
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.
“The ceramic manufacturing technology that Made In Space is sending to the space station represents an expansion of commercial capabilities on orbit,” said Matthew Napoli, Vice President of In Space Operations at MIS. “The new capabilities that we are developing, with NASA and our technical partners, can yield game-changing innovations to deliver terrestrial benefits through space enabled manufacturing.”
CMM was developed in partnership with NASA’s ISS Research Integration Office at Johnson Space Center. The ceramic facility is one of three ISS pilot payloads developed through this partnership that will look to catalyze and scale demand for commercial capabilities in LEO by producing high-value products for terrestrial use.
Additional technical partners for the CMM mission include HRL Laboratories of Malibu, California and Sierra Turbines of San Jose, California.
CMM is the fifth facility that MIS has launched to the space station.
To learn more about CMM and the NG-14 mission, visit www.madeinspace.us.
About Made In Space, Inc. (MIS)
MIS is the industry leader for space manufacturing technologies, delivering next-generation capabilities in orbit to support exploration objectives and national security priorities. As the first commercial company to additively manufacture in space, MIS is advancing the commercial space economy through its expansive technology portfolio. With a focus on industrializing the space environment, MIS specializes in on-orbit manufacturing, space enabled materials development and exploration manufacturing technology. With offices in Florida, California, Alabama, and Ohio, MIS is empowering an elite workforce and domestic supplier base to realize the company vision of sustainably building off-Earth manufacturing capabilities to enable the future of space exploration. For more information about Made In Space, visit www.madeinspace.us.
Redwire is a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy. With decades of flight heritage combined with the agile and innovative culture of a commercial space platform, Redwire is uniquely positioned to assist its customers in solving the complex challenges of future space missions. For more information, please visit www.redwirespace.com.