European Commission selected Airbus for the First Space’s Satellite Factory

European Commission selected Airbus for the First Space’s Satellite Factory

European Commission has the Horizon 2020 Programme, and it is through it that Airbus will study space manufacturing, and excitingly, it will be doing it in space. It comes after the European Commission chose it to be the first participant. The PERASPERA In-Orbit Demonstration (PERIOD) project revolves around manufacturing and assembling satellites in orbit. It is a two-year contract, and its value is € 3 million. It will focus on the prominent manufacturing components, including the antenna reflectors. It also facilitates replacing satellite payload, and assembling spacecraft components will be done conveniently in space.

In the future, manufacturing even larger structures in space are expected to commence. Consequently, designing, building, and operating space systems will change for the better. Such an approach also comes bearing several benefits. For instance, the fact that launching will no longer be necessary means that the requirements and constraints associated with it will not be required. Producing them in space instead of Earth means no spending money on launching services. Launching vehicles puts restrictions on the volume and mass of the objects they can launch. However, if there is no launching, then such limitations will be a thing of the past. There are also requirements when building a spacecraft to be strong enough to withstand the launch. Fortunately, that will become unnecessary once launching becomes a thing of the past.

It is important to note that Airbus will not be doing this alone. On the contrary, it will collaborate with seven parties, including the Space Applications Services, SENER Aeroespacial, ISISPACE, GMV-SKY, GMV, EASN-TIS, and SFKI. Bremen’s Airbus Defense and Space will take the lead. Crucial expertise includes in-space assembly, virtual reality, and robotic operation, just but to mention a few.

The objective of PERIOD is to make it crystal clear how beneficial space assembly, manufacturing, and servicing can be. It will also play a significant role in ensuring that Europe leads in the in-orbit manufacturing and servicing sector. Equally important, the continent will develop the necessary infrastructure for the same in the process. Other great things to come from that are technology advancement and more job opportunities. After all, the research to be done will lead to the discoveries of non-existing market opportunities.

The plan is to launch the demonstrator and the space factory like the regular launches. Then, as a free flyer, it would facilitate space production in orbit. That’s not the only option since they can also use the International Space Station (ISS) infrastructure. The second option is quite flexible and would cost PERIOD less money.