A new mission will develop some products that can only be made in space, but not on Earth. What are?
Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 26 June 2022, at 10:20 am Los Angeles time
A Welsh start-up, Space Forge will produce so-called materials that can only be made in space, but not on Earth.
It will widely produce more efficient semiconductors and stronger and lighter alloys, starting with the launch of the first satellite from Cornwall spaceport in September.
"The launch price has come down massively. Typically it used to cost $ 20,000 (£ 16,500) per kilogram. These days you can get as low as $ 1,000 (£ 830)," explained Andrew Bacon, a co-founder of Space Forge told Sky News noting the very low launch price of a satellite in Earth orbit.
Space Forge will thus create the first products in space at the commercial level.
"We always say that Earth is a pretty bad place to make things," Josh Western, the company's founder, tells Wales Online quoted by The Independent.
"Its dense atmosphere, consistent temperatures and, of course, gravity weighing us down means that we're always fighting against the natural environment. In space that's not a problem."
Mr. Bacon explains more about this new and special product:
"Say you're making an aluminium alloy. On Earth if you're mixing the metals together they will separate into two layers with the heavy lead below and the aluminium at the top. But in microgravity you don't have that problem and you can actually mix them together properly."
"There's also no contamination from the air - no oxygen leaking to create an oxide. The unique conditions make space a far better place for making things than here on Earth."