Space Tango Plans In-Orbit Manufacturing | 11/21/2018 | Staff
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SAN FRANCISCO – Space Tango, a Kentucky startup focused on research and manufacturing in microgravity, announced plans Nov. 15 to launch in the mid-2020s an autonomous in-orbit manufacturing facility.

The facility, called ST-42, will be a free-flying spacecraft sent into low Earth orbit with robotic systems onboard to produce advanced materials, biomedical devices and other high-value products. ST-42 is likely to remain in orbit ten to 30 days and possibly longer before reentering the atmosphere, Twyman Clements, Space Tango president and chief executive, told SpaceNews.

ST-42 - Extension - Work - Space - Tango

ST-42 is "a logical extension of the work Space Tango is doing on ISS now," Clements said. "We are doing research, taking research into pilot manufacturing and finding areas where raw materials go up, microgravity is a value-add and finished products of significant value come down."

Clements declined to comment on the cost of ST-42 but said the firm's calculations show it is economically feasible to build and launch because it will not require docking mechanisms or the environmental control systems like capsules designed to carry people. Space Tango has not raised money for ST-42, Clements added, but is raising money for its current activities and earning revenue from its ongoing work.

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