There are a number of important benefits that can be gleaned for humanity as a whole if production processes could be moved to space. This is a holistic investigation of the different benefits of moving manufacturing processes to space, and of the current processes that are capable of being carried out in space or in orbit. Full-scale production of space vehicles is the final end goal of the process, but a focus on small-scale production via 3-D printing technologies is also examined over the course of the study. A literature review and meta-analysis was conducted to determine the effects of manufacturing in Microgravity environment, as well as to discuss the applications of manufacture in space technology in the future of the space industry and To assess a conceptual mission that can be used to carry out a successful mission in achieving a structure that was manufactured in space. The study also investigates the current and future manufacturing projects that can be mobilized to carry out manufacturing in space. The research looks closely at the SpiderFab project, as well as the Taurus Dexterous Telepresence Manipulation System for conceptual ideas of manufacturing in space, and attempts to discern if this is a feasible tool for future projects. The research also closely examines a number of underlying issues, such as appropriate materials for production and use. The researchers examine the currently accepted practices that are utilized for production of parts and minor manufacturing in space, and attempt to expand the impact of these practices to determine the best industrial applicability. The researchers hope that in the future, the industrial applicability of various processes can be expanded to a more expansive list of items and pieces—this expansion could lead to significantly expanded space travel capabilities, as well as presenting humanity with new industrial and technological capabilities.
My first acknowledgement goes to our creator, God almighty, for his protection and guidance in my life and work throughout the period of this Academic year. I appreciate the effort of my supervisor, for her thoughtful assistance and guidance throughout my research, her understanding and always reading and attending to my requests and her many suggestions for the success and completion of this thesis.
This work is dedicated to my parents and siblings whose unceasing cooperation has helped me focus during the toughest of times in my university life.
LIST OF FIGURES v
LIST OF TABLES vii
1 Introduction 9
1.3 Why we should manufacture in space? 10
1.3 Aim 11
1.3 Objectives 11
1.3 Methodology 12
2 Structures and Materials 13
2.3 Manufacturing of composite 16
2.1.1 Ceramic matrix composites 19
2.1.2 Carbon Nano 20
2.2.1 Powder processing of ceramics 20
2.2 Charter summary 22
3 Manufacturing in space/ aerospace industry 23
3.1 Manufacturing techniques 23
3.1.1 Cold welding 23
3.1.2 3D Printing 24
3.2 SpiderFab project 25
3.2 Taurus Dexterous Telepresence Manipulation System 27
3.3 Charter summary 29
4 Mission profile 31
4.1 THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: HISTORY AND FUTURE 34
4.2 SKYLON Space Plane 38
5 Conclusion 40
6 References 41
7 Bibliography 44
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: weight to thrust ratio (Francis 2012) 7
Figure 2: Space tourism: The hotel room pods will be fitted with binoculars and cameras to guests (dailymail n.d.) 8
Figure 3: Conceptual art shows a SpiderFab Bot constructing a support structure on a satellite. (designnews n.d.) 11
Figure 4 : solar sail theory 12
Figure 5: : Solar sails use the sun's energy to propel spacecraft across the cosmos. (Miller 2014) 12
Figure 6: solar arrays power plant theory (Sasaki 2014) 13
Figure 7: Plan for the future: An orbiting power plant similar to this with giant solar panels could be used to harvest the sun's energy and send it back to earth (dailymail 2015) 13
Figure 8: Advanced composite panels of greater strength, lighter weight, and higher durability (glastic n.d.) 14
Figure 9: Fibre alignment (Ayre 2015) 15
Figure 10: Carbon Nano-tubes aspect ratio (sigmaaldrich n.d.) 18
Figure 11: Hot isostatic pressing (HIP), a pressure-assisted method for sintering advanced ceramic (britannica n.d.) 19
Figure 12: SpiderFab, Architecture for On-Orbit Construction of Kilometer-Scale Apertures (nasa 2015) 24
Figure 13: Tethers Unlimited has already built a machine that makes supporting truss structures here on Earth using a process akin to 3D printing. Here's an artist's concept of the "trusselator" technology at work in space. (space 2015) 24
Figure 14: Telerobotic surgical system engine so do in a circuit (sri 2015) 25
Figure 15: Taurus the robot doing basic wiring (peteradamsphoto 2015) 26
Figure 16: ISS Architecture Design Evolution (nasa, Elements n.d.) 29
Figure 17: The international space station (many countries are working together aboard one space station) (1.bp.blogspot 2009) 33
Figure 18: the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle concept by NASA's Technology Applications Assessment (xionbox33418 2011) 35
Figure 19: "An artist's illustration depicts a future Manufacturing station under construction in Earth orbit using a ring-type construction facility, being resupplied with the SKYLON Space Plane (catholiccitizenamerica.blogspot 2014) 37
LIST OF TABLES
“We choose to go to the moon to do these other things in our decade not because they are easy but because it is hard” (John F. Kennedy). As humanity ventures further into deep space we are struggling to overcome a natural force of gravity. Chemical based Rockets are impractical in the long term of space travel as they are prohibitively expensive, the weight to thrust ratio is inefficient by the required amount of fuel (figure 1) and they are a menace to our atmosphere. Has new concepts are emerging
around the corner from telescopes that can detect asteroids in our region of space to hotels orbiting our planet. These structures will not be sent in one big launch but in a series of launches. The time and the resources just to get something so minute comparison to the whole structure. A lot of this is fixated on overcoming gravity. Scientist in this field of research has come up with new ideas to make this possible. Manufacturing and processing of composites, cold welding of metallic materials and 3-D printing of specific materials. The idea of this is to send the unrefined material into space and process/manufacture the material while orbiting our planet. A solution to our problem? Not exactly unfortunately there are enough technological, logistic and political hurdles in play that just might make the entire venture possible or impossible but there are still things that humanity must further understand to make this practical.
Why we should manufacture in space?
There are many reasons why humanity should operate manufacturing stations in orbit of our planet, exploration, tourism, research into new materials and even recycling materials from used satellites. These advancements will not be small and would require a significant amount of investments from private sectors. Corporations and governments spend billions to establish the space station and other infrastructures. If a manufacturing station was to be put in place this could easily pay for itself over the years of its life spanned. A station that could produce space vehicles is relevant to scientists, telecommunications and government establishments. Where by moon and asteroid based mining will become one step less harder to make it easier for Earth’s notorious resource sector could get on-board as well. It will certainly be expensive, probably the biggest mega-project of all time, but since a manufacturing stations can offer a solid value proposition to everyone from Google to DARPA to Exxon, funding might end up being the least of its problems. A concerning problem always appears that the initial fuel will take up majority of the weight of the mission. How this can be tackled for instance a mission to Mars might begin by starting off near the top of the thermosphere. Using small rockets like the ionised engines to move into a predictably unstable fall. By gaining the momentum around the Earth and off the vehicle will go with enough proportion to cut huge fractions off the fuel budget. Setting up a base on Mars would be relatively trivial, with a manufacturing station in place. Space stations might be used for space hotels. Here, private companies like Virgin Galactic could ferry tourists from Earth to space hotels for brief visits or extended stays. To this end, Galactic Suite, a private company based in Barcelona Spain and lead by space engineer Xavier Calramunt, claims to be on track for having a space hotel in orbit by 2020. Even grander extensions of tourism are that space stations could become space ports for expeditions to the planets and stars or even new cities and colonies that could relieve an overpopulated planet.
The aim is to explore the current technology in manufacturing a structure in space. There will be an investigation on the applicability of different systems and subsystems used in the space industry and to assess any potential industry benefits. After the investigation has taken place a conceptual space mission can take place to review the steps and procedures to carry out a process on how humanity can build a structure in space.
Review recent, current and future projects which can be used to manufacture in space.
Discuss the applications of manufacture in space technology in the future of the space industry. How it can be used, how the space industry will benefit and discuss the positive and negative impacts.
During the next four months a literature review will be conducted to investigate the potential possibility of building a structure in space. In the conduct of this study, the following things will be carried out.
The thesis proposal must be approved first before gathering the information before any main procedures will be done.
Information will be collected on the current technologies and the research used to achieve manufacturing in space.
Review will be conducted to determine information such as the reason why building structure in space will be a useful and practical idea, advantages of working with the materials in space.
The general processes of how a structure can be built in the vacuum of space
The general processes of industrial manufacturing science will been disceed and the slight variations in technique, which are dependent on the materials and products being created.
It is necessary to find which techniques are currently receiving the most research and have the most industrial applicability.
Therefore case studies of projects using the most prominent technologies will been evaluated.
A literature review will take place investigating the main manufacturing technology/techniques currently being used in industry.
Structures and Materials
As stated earlier, if an engineer wants to build a large spacecraft in orbit and assemble it into an even larger product in space, it is more practical to build the pieces on Earth and design it so that it can fold away and fit into a rocket. Instead of specifically designing parts/components that foldaway into his small compartment on a rocket, various space agencies could densely packed raw materials like ceramic composite, metallic materials and polymers into a rocket and create the parts/component while orbiting the planet. A Space factories would also significantly reduce the risk involved in launching delicate equipment on rockets, where the chance of failure is high. Instead, relatively inexpensive raw materials would be launched into orbit. With this concept, this will open up the possibilities of larger spacecraft. Rob Hoytc added:” this idea of manufacturing in space will enable us to create antennas and arrays that are tens-to-hundreds of times larger than are possible now, providing higher power, higher
bandwidth, higher resolution, and higher sensitivity for a wide range of space missions” CEO/ Chief Scientist of Tethers Unlimited, Inc with he’s conception design of the SpiderFab (Figure 3) this concept will enable space agencies to use less rockets to deliver material and specific components to the orbiting space factory, which can be used to manufacture larger spacecraft that can be used in deep space missions, trusses to hold solar sails (Figure 4-5) and solar arrays (Figure 6-7) and antennas, these products could be manufactured to almost unlimited size.
Manufacturing of composite
Composites are made up of at least two different distinct materials (Figure 8). Which together improve product performance and lower manufacturing costs. The term composites However, has come to mean that a material consisting of a matrix or a base material and a reinforcement material. The matrix functions as a binder for the reinforcement and controls the physical shape and dimensions of the part. The primary purpose of the matrix is to transfer the load or stress applied to the composite to the reinforcement. The matrix also protects the reinforcement form adverse environmental
effects. The reinforcement function is to improve their mechanical properties of the composite and is typically the main load bearing element. reinforcements is usually in the form of fibre or particles, there are numerous methods of producing parts from fibre reinforced thermosetting polymers with the primary types being manual layup , automated layup ,sprayed up, filament winding, pultrusion and a resin transfer moulding. Manual layup is a widely used method of manufacturing a wide range of composites parts and components. The process begins with cutting the reinforce material to size. This may be performed using knives, Scissors, disk cutters, power shears, rotary power cutters, saws and laser. A mould that has the desired part shaped is then coated with the release ageing to make the parts permanent and then the subsequent parts are released. Manufacturing moulds are commonly made of steel, aluminium, nickel and copper or even polymer matrix composites. Once coated with the release ageing the layering resin called a gelcoat may be applied to the mould and allowed to cure to a tacky state as the gelcoat cures the reinforcement material is prepared for application by impregnating with wet resin or the matrix material. The im-prepreg reinforce material is then place on the coated mould surface and hand role for uniformed distribution and removal of air pockets. Reinforce material and resin are applied as needed in this manner until the required parts thickness has been built-up, this so-called wet layout method can be used with nearly all reinforcement materials and is widely used to produce glass force polyester products and sometimes glass reinforced hepoxy product. Wet layout is also used making composites moulds. They can also be performed using pre-preg material, use of pre-preg material eliminates separate handling at the reinforcement and resin pre-preg material. It also reduces resin consumption and can improve part quality by providing more consistent control over reinforcement and resin content. However, pre-preg material must be kept in a refrigerated storage unit onto it is used to prevent pre-curing.
Ceramic matrix composites
There have been an interest in developing/research in ceramic matrix composites. The reason why ceramic matrix composites has been developed to overcome the intrinsic brittleness and lack or mechanical reliability of other materials which the material has gained interest for their high stiffness and high strength. The issue is particularly acute with glasses, as the amorphous structure does not provide any obstacle to crack propagation and the fracture toughness is very low. However, the reinforcement phase and the mechanical effects will be beneficial in other properties such as electrical conductivity, thermal shock resistance and flammability resistance. The combination of these characteristics with intrinsic advantages of ceramic materials such as high-temperature stability, high corrosion resistance, light weight and electrical insulation, makes ceramic matrix composites very suitable material used for structural and functional application in the space industry. Ceramic matrix composites have particular relevance under harsh conditions where other materials (e.g. metallic alloys) cannot be used.
Carbon Nano-tubes is a new wonder material in recent years receiving a lot of research in the context of materials and has been viewed a fourth generation of carbon composite. Another significant characteristics of carbon nano-tube is a very high aspect length to diameter ratio. Which is relevant to load transfer with the matrix and hence, effective reinforcement. Standard continuous-fibre composites have excellent anisotropic structural properties combined with low density. This short fibre composite of easy to produce complex shapes but with conventional fibres. The aspect ratio is typically limited to around 100, after processing. In principle, the small absolute length of Carbon nano-tubes and combined with their resilience in bending, allows them to be manipulated with conventional processing equipment, potentially retaining their high aspect ratio.
Figure 10: Carbon Nano-tubes aspect ratio
Powder processing of ceramics
Powder processing was the earlier techniques used to construct Carbon Nano-tubes /ceramic composite fabrication. This method is still widely used and commonly applied in ceramic systems. Results have usually shown that conventional powder processing is an effective means to disperse Carbon nano-tubes homogenously in ceramic; there is no driving force to distribute the Carbon nano-tubes from the powder particle surface into the bulk. The powder processing is commonly carried out by mixing raw Carbon nano-tubes and ceramic particles underwent conditions following by ultra-sonication and/or ball milling; the dried powder is then crushed and sieved, and finally densified by hot-pressing. Powder processing has been applied to various composites systems including borosilicate glass, silicon nitride 64-69 alumina, and silica matrix composites containing different concentrations of Carbon nano-tubes (typically 1 –10 vol.%). These observation have been different success in terms of the microstructure homogeneity and properties achieved.
Nanoscale powders with carbon nanotubes provide another opportunity for creating dense ceramic-matrix powders with enhanced mechanical properties. The strength and fracture toughness of hot pressed alumina is typically much greater than that of conventional grain size polycrystalline alumina. Addition of carbon nanotubes to the alumina results in lightweight composites with even greater strength and fracture toughness. The mechanical properties of such composites depend strongly on the processing methods and surface treatment of the carbon nanotubes. The work on characterization and the processing of the mechanical properties of a carbon nanotube-reinforced Al-based composite prepared by hot-pressing followed by hot-extrusion research indicated that the carbon nanotubes in the composites will not be damaged.
This chapter was to provide an idea of the structures that would be needed to be built in space, as well as materials that will be required for these projects. The idea of devices that can be used to create structures in space has been around for some years now. In the early days of the space race. It was thought that access to the space environment; including weightlessness, vacuum, and radiation, would revolutionize manufacturing. It was speculated that the material would be significantly improve if it was created in space. Where today Scientists have many years of research to know, once Scientists understand how something works in microgravity, Scientist can almost certainly find ways of reproducing the observed phenomenon more cheaply on the ground. Still yet Scientists were still doing experiments with material processing and fluid physics, no one expected these experiments to lead to a large-scale profit. So the idea of manufacturing in space received less attention. With today, it’s not about building the next wonder material but to relieve costs. The goal is that engineers can build larger structures and lower the risk of damage of the vehicle while being transported in a payload rocket.
Composites may be an ideal material that can be used in these projects, but bring about some challenges to overcome. One of the biggest challenges in processing composites lies in a good displacement of the fibre arrangement. It is important that the individual fibres are distributed uniformly throughout the matrix and well-separated from each other; the presence of agglomerates is extremely undesirable, especially in ceramic matrices, as they can act as defects leading to stress-concentration, and premature failure, particularly if the matrix does not fully penetrate the agglomerate during processing. On the other hand, with a good dispersion, each fibre is loaded individually over a maximum interfacial area, and can contribute directly to the mechanical properties and to toughening mechanisms. Otherwise the composite techniques doesn’t necessarily have to be done directly in the space environment, but some of the steps In manufacturing of composites can be partly created in a stimulated Earth environment. Where by using a mixture of space and Earth environments to create these materials. The next chapter will go into more in-depth in some of the techniques that can be used to manufacture Structures in space.
Manufacturing in space/ aerospace industry
With the current technology, spacecraft will be built and vigorously tested on Earth, so that parts will survive the launch vehicle. As a result, all projects that is related to the space industry will set aside a large portion of the cost and launch mass of the system to ensure that the vehicle will deploy once in space. This is particularly true for systems with physically large components, such as antennas, booms, and panels, which must be designed to stow for launch and then deploy reliably on orbit. A lot of the systems that are already in orbit are limited by the size due to the requirement to stow them within available launch shrouds. Current State-Of-the-Art (SOA) deployable technologiess enable apertures, baselines, and arrays of up to several dozen meters to be stowed within existing launch shrouds. However, the cost increases significantly related to the increase in size, this is caused by the complexity of the mechanical requirements to enable a successful deployment, weight to thrust ratio and the necessary testing to ensure the vehicle unfolds reliable whilst in orbit. As a result, aperture sizes significantly beyond 100 meters are not feasible or affordable with current technologies.
Vacuum fusion/metal fusion in space also known as cold welding. Is when two pieces of metal touched together will permanently stick together. This doesn’t happen on earth because of the oxygen in our atmosphere, due to this every metal exposed to the atmosphere forms a thin filament oxidation layer. The oxidation acts as a barrier merely preventing chunks of metal fusing together in the atmosphere. However, there is no oxidation layer between atoms of two similar metals thus metals that’s exposed to a vacuum that comes into contact together will suddenly become one continuous metal object. On the space station because of this the tools has to be coated with plastic or other materials that will not stick. However, cold welding used in industry or contact welding is a solid state welding in which joining take place in which no heating element at the interface of two parts are welded. The reason of this unexpected behaviour is that when the atoms in content are all the same kind there is no way for the atoms to know that they are two different pieces. It has been said that the phenomenon of two different pieces of metals will not simply fuse just by touching even in the vacuum any impurities or surface defects this will have an Effect on fusion to taking place.
3-D printing has been growing over the past decade now. One can say that it is the new craze in manufacturing from basic engineering design to high-end complex engineering designs and is now identified as a key technology in manufacturing. It can be used to build models from prototypes, machining tools and complex mechanical
parts and these can be produced in plastic, ceramic and composites materials. There are many advantages from this technology. It gives the designer freedom to create complex geometry, can reduce the manufacturing time/material wasted and less complexity is needed in designing a part, it can be designed on CAD and printed straight into the real world, thus removing the need to assemble.
Cited on space.com” SpiderFab has received two rounds of funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, which aims to encourage the development of potentially game-changing space technologies. According to Dr Rob Hoyt, case-study analyses conducted under the Phase 1 NIAC award indicated that SpiderFab could achieve order-of-magnitude performance improvements in systems in which bigger is better components such as solar arrays and telescope parts. As an example of SpiderFab's potential, (Dr. Rob Hoyt) ”the proposed New Worlds Observer (NWO) space telescope, which would use a huge "star-shade" to block out most of the light of a target star, thus allowing its orbiting exoplanets to be imaged directly”. The largest conventionally built starshade would be about 203 feet (62 meters) wide, Dr. Rob Hoyt “Employing on orbit manufacturing with the same amount of mass would increase that diameter to 406 feet (124 m), allowing NWO to peer twice as close to target stars and thus observe more planets”. Hoyt added In addition, launching the starshade in raw-material form, rather than in finished form, reduces its volume by a factor of 30, thus allowing a smaller and therefore cheaper rocket to be used for the potential mission. At the heart of the SpiderFab concept is a multi-armed robot that would fabricate structural elements with one spinneret and use another one to join these pieces together as it crawls about on the ever growing structure. Web Tethers Unlimited, which is based in Bothell, Washington, is working to develop the various technologies required to pull off such an ambitious vision, (Dr. Rob Hoyt) example, in a project funded by NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, the company already built a machine that creates lightweight structural trusses from raw carbon-fiber spools, using a process akin to 3D printing. This
Figure 12: SpiderFab, Architecture for On-Orbit Construction of Kilometer-Scale Apertures
trusselator, which is about the size of a microwave oven, can churn out truss the type of stuff that could be put together to form a spacecraft boom and other systems at the rate of 2 inches (5 centimetres) per minute, Dr Rob Hoyt "Under the NIAC and SBIR work, he thinks we've already validated the basic feasibility of the key processes required" for the broad SpiderFab concept. Rob Hoyt said the team is currently working on a second generation trusselator and hopes to have a prototype ready by early
Summer. Tethers Unlimited wants to launch a small Maker-Satellite a couple of years from now to demonstrate the process on orbit. This spacecraft may end up being a CubeSat deployed from the International Space Station. Dr Rob Hoyt “The Company has also bought a commercially available Baxter robot and is using the machine to
learn how to assemble trusses robotically. Rob Hoyt and Rob Hoyt’s colleagues will
continue to develop and refine this process on the ground and then aim to launch a Maker-Satellite 2 to prove it out in space perhaps by building the truss structure for a big starshade. In a perfect world if funding flowed and the contracting process didn't drag on forever Rob Hoyt think “engineers could get to be able to build very large support structures for; antennas, solar arrays, those sorts of structure, in the early 2020s."
Taurus Dexterous Telepresence Manipulation System
Dexter tellmaipulated robotic platform. This technology was developed with the specific mission in mind. However, its versatility makes it useful in application of manufacturing in the space industry, where safety access makes hands-on direct manipulation practical for applications needed by circuitry building and being able to send Taurus to assemble fragile components. It also provide the precision and control to carry out delicate soldiering. Taurus also have configuration that are very appropriate for laboratory work/analysis and other fixed installations. Taurus unique man-machine interface dexterity in real time control, provide users surgical precision to perform their mission at a distance. Taurus have input device options with haptic feedback, meaning you're actually going to fill the forces between the robot and its environment. These devices precisely track your hand movements, given the user full control of the robot arm. For example, as the user squeeze onto an objects the user is going to actually feel that the user hand is one with the robot. Tourist system provides 3-D stereoscopic vision where some for the models use active 3-D glasses while others use an immersive binoculars display. Using tourist system with other devices can be used to reach into the vacuum environment. Another feature is the operator control unit (OCU) this has the ability to control the camera with the use for the foot pedals. The foot pedals allow users to tilt the camera up and down and be able to zoom in and out at the scene. The benefit over the clutch approach, is the ability to be able to continuously role the robot hand. So the idea is that the user hand can only roll a fixed amount, where by being able to move towards the user hands and unclench from the system and reposition the user hands and then continuing that role. This allows tourists to be able to roll a full 360 degrees. One likely use with this continuous roll capability is that it can be useful in shunting an initiator that is being able to strip and then twist the wires. the models that go up and down ranges with systems is what Taurus’s engineers call Taurus manipulater and the power control unit or PCU, the PCU provides the communication link with the operator control unit or OCU either by; wired Ethernet link, wireless Ethernet or fibrotic. The team that has developed Taurus has deployed a variety of tools; Taurus’s engineers are in passive measurement tools, power tools (screwdrivers drills and hot knife cutters), suction cups, scalpels saws, wire probes, pry bars, an inspection and analysis camera, also equipped with oscilloscope like capabilities. Another feature Taurus has is the ability to quickly and remotely switch tools during interface with various adapters. This allows the user to have a variety of specialized tools at their disposal into rapidly reconfigure. Taurus team see future versions system that extend into chemical, radiological, biochemical and nuclear threat reductions both domestically and military.
SpiderFab and Taurus are two different but similar technology in the respect of the size and Mission profile in which this technology is being used. SpiderFab is a concept design, which is taking the steps to being completed in the near future with a prototype built in mid-2015. Using cold welding and 3-D printing, It aims to operate as it is obvious like a spider. As cold welding could be the joining technique and 3-D printing like a spider’s silk. Some engineers believe that this technology doesn’t necessary have to be one large spider that is working on one large structure but a multitude of smaller spider. Each SpiderFab could be designed to carry out a specific Mission profile equipped in building a specific area of the structure. For instance, a team of spiders could be working on the skeleton of a structure and another set of spiders can be working on the panels. The SpiderFab doesn’t necessary have to be restricted to one kind of material but having a multitude of spiders, with each one equipped in using a specific technique to a specific material. A similar technology is already available to us, robots working in harmony to build a structure. It is called the flight assembled architecture project, like the SpiderFab it can work in correlation with a manufacturing space station. As a station produce the part in the robots assemble the parts. The idea is not only structures that can be built in space, but small complex circuitry can be manufactured in space. This is where Taurus comes into play with the Precision of a surgeons hands. After the main structure has been built a fleet of Taurus robots can be deployed to get the structure systems going. Taurus is a small robots designed to get into places where otherwise humans can’t. Each Taurus can be modified to carry out tasks like; point-to-point connections, inserting component and soldering. With the more complex work Taurus has the capabilities to allow human control. An engineer doesn’t necessary have to be in space to control the robots but specialist engineers can be in the comfort of their office controlling the robots in space.
The International Space Station is also thought of humanity’s greatest political and technological accomplishment. As a results of Its complexness a few People perceive the configuration of the station habitats as they have been designed. More than a hundred different space stations were conceptualized (figure 16) in the more than one hundred years before the International Space Station becoming operational. Many Space Station design were developed and manned in orbit by Americans and Russians between the American manned moon landing, and the establishment of the current space station configuration in the late 1980s.
Why does the ISS look the way it does? The design evolved over more than a decade. The modularity and size of the U.S., Japanese, and European elements were dictated by the use of the Space Shuttle as the primary launch vehicle and by the requirement to make system components maintainable and replaceable over a lifetime of many years. When the Russians joined the program in 1993, their architecture was based largely on the Mir and Salyut stations they had built earlier. Russian space vehicle design philosophy has always emphasized automated operation and remote control. The design of the interior of the U.S., European, and Japanese elements was dictated by four specific principles: modularity, maintainability, re-configurability, and accessibility. Interior modular hardware racks and utilities could be replaced as needs or age dictated. Racks could be swung away from the pressure hull of the module in case a meteoritic puncture necessitated a repair. Crew preferences dictated that module interiors be arranged with distinct floors, ceilings, and walls.
THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: HISTORY AND FUTURE
The International Space Station, sometimes called the ISS for short, was first launched in 1998. Although this does not seem to be very long ago, it was seventeen years ago almost before cell phone technology really took off around the world. As a result, the technology that was available in 1998 was very different from the technology that is available today; thus, there are many things on the International Space Station that have been upgraded or replaced since the International Space Station was first built in 1998. The ISS is indeed a marvel of human engineering not just because it was a global effort to build in the first place, but also because it is a piece of technology that continues to grow and evolve over time as technology changes and as the functions of the station itself change (European Space Agency, 2015). The assembly of the ISS was unlike anything that had happened before in astronautics, and was an extremely exciting event for science. The space station itself was sent into orbit by module The first
module was named Zarya, which was quickly joined by three other modules. After Zarya was launched, the Unity Module was launched later in 1998, making the first two modules of the space station (European Space Agency, 1999). It was not until 2000 that Zvezda was launched; the launch of the third module made the international space station a triad of modules. These three modules were attached together in 2000, making the space station large enough for scientific work, but not large enough to be manned full time, which was the long-term goal of the International Space Station and the astronauts that worked for the. The three modules remained in place together for a year before the Destinty module, a lab module, was launched in 2001 (Harris, 2002). Zvezda changed a lot of things for the ISS, and meant that a number of modules that were scheduled were unneeded; this is the perfect example of a time when technology improved and changed the general structure and construction of the modules of the International Space Station (International Space Station gets new lease on life, 2014). The next important launch was the launch of the Destiny module, which was a turning point for the International Space Station in many ways. This lab module provided astronauts with an important place to perform experiments in space which was not available before; they were able to begin long-term experiments about the effect of low gravity on living things, which would be very important if humanity were to ever invent a way to travel space for very long periods of time. The final modules to be added recently were the Columbus Orbital Facility and the Japanese Experiment Module, both of which were put in place in 2008-2009 (International Space Station gets new lease on life, 2014). Adding modules to the International Space Station is a somewhat expensive prospect, which has to be considered carefully as the technology available improves. As of right now, there are 15 modules on the ISS; each of these modules serves a specific purpose and is fundamentally important to the function of the ISS (International Space Station gets new lease on life, 2014). The creation of an International Space Station was an old idea, dating back to before the end of the Cold War. The technology needed to build the ISS was not necessarily available when the idea was first proposed, but by 1998, the technology was available and ready for launch. The development and installation of the 15 pods that currently exist in the ISS has been a marvel of both engineering and international cooperation. The addition of Zvezda is the perfect example of changing technologies and changing expectations for the ISS. Because space is so hostile to life, the ISS was unmanned for a long period of time; however, Zvezda brought with her a number of technological advances that allowed the ISS to become a manned experimental mission. Today, the Space Station is still changing. In the early design on the space station. They all assumed that artificial gravity would be something that will be used in the future. An aerospace engineer designer H E Ross stated in The design consists of three sections, rather quaintly labelled, “a bowl, bun and arm.” The bowl is effectively a giant mirror, designed to concentrate sunlight that heats water to produce steam for power generation. That’s right, a steam powered space station. The bun which looks more like a bagel is located behind the mirror. The arm pokes out on the side of the bun and is linked to a docking port. With any rotating wheel in space, the artificial gravity, or as Ross more accurately puts it “the pseudo gravitational effect works like this: thrusters rotate the bun/bagel around its axis, generating a centripetal force. Anyone inside this hollow wheel experiences a similar effect to gravity, as if they were being pulled towards the outer curved hull (although actually it is the floor of the hull pushing up against them).
The amount of artificial gravity generated depends on the size of the wheel and the speed of rotation. The bigger the wheel and the faster it turns, the greater the effect. The result is brilliantly illustrated in the film 2001, where the astronaut jogs around the inside of the spaceship. There are still many more additions that NASA and other organizations around the world plan to make to the International Space Station. One of the benefits and problems of the constant construction is that plans can be altered as technology improves this also means that sometimes missions can be slowed down because of changes in available technology. Disasters with technology can also cause problems for the International Space Program for instance, when the Challenger disaster occurred, all space missions were grounded by NASA until they could determine what caused the disaster. Changes in technology are, of course, a boon to space travel but they also present problems as well.
SKYLON Space Plane
The SKYLON space plane is a concept for a single stage to orbit (SSTO) vehicle that is capable of traveling to Low Earth Orbit. Single stage to orbit refers to a reusable launch vehicle that does not jettison hardware throughout launch, meaning the only loss to the system is exerted propellants Because a large percentage of current launch vehicles are comprised of propellant, this greatly reduces not only the cost, but the size and weight requirements of the vehicle. The goal of SKYLON is to provide a new source of space transportation with an unpiloted and reusable system. As Alan Bond says, "Expendable rockets can never deliver a credible transportation system. It is just too labour intensive to build a vehicle of that complexity and then throw it away after one flight. Therefore, SKYLON will be cost effective and efficient, reducing both the cost to launch to orbit and the time it takes to prepare the vehicle to be used again. SKYLON will do this by replacing the traditional launch vehicle engines with modified jet engines similar to those on commercial aircraft and developing the system to have horizontal launch and landing capabilities. In the past, many organizations working to develop single stage to orbit vehicles have studied hydrogen and oxygen rocket engines .However, this propulsion type has a relatively low specific impulse. When used for air-breathing. Engines, the Hydrogen/Oxygen propulsion system is more feasible, but still contains a low thrust to weight ratio and limited Mach range. As a result, air-breathing engines alone cannot propel a system into
Orbit. A combination of air-breathing engine and rocket engine, however, may be the most realistic way to get to space. The SKYLON space plane is making strides in the movement towards a working single stage to orbit vehicle utilizing this engine combination. The minds behind REL and SKYLON, however, have been working for decades to perfect the idea.
As humanity steps further into the future new concepts and techniques will be developed in making the long-term goal a reality. As the industry grows, they are new projects on its way as shown in this literature review that new technology that has been funded and researched from new materials to new techniques in manufacturing. Most of these technologies that has been investigated are all theology concepts and truly scientists /engineers do not know what the outcome would be onto we go out and build and test and evaluate the outcome. These new techniques all automatically small but adding them up could be something that could leave a footprint in history. This literature review was to in investigate the technology that is available and that is to come. Also found in this review is that the technology is ready therefore us to use, but we lack the political and funding for these individual projects. What is the next step to make this in to a reality? One of the steps is to convert the current technology of Taurus, so that it will be able to operate within the conditions of space. The idea behind Taurus is to make it a mobilisation pair of hands, as shown in figure 15 that the bottom half of the robot will be able to move within an orbiting station. So the next step is to devise the bottom half of the robot, so that it can move freely within a compartment without gravity. The SpiderFab has a promising idea that can play a key role in the future of Manufacturing. With the spider concept, to speculate the next step will be to devise How SpiderFab arms will operate in the vacuum, and use direct sunlight that provide the heat necessary to operate them through the vacuum of space. As it is well known in the next 20 to 10 years if Mars one or NASA are planning to venture to the red planet. The techniques that currently used on Earth would be impractical and the atmosphere will limit the astronauts to carry out some task. If we was to send components/spare-parts to Mars that wouldn’t be cost efficient and time efficient. So the idea of Harbison materials on the voyage will be the most practical idea. The future holds many possibilities with that brings many advancements.
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