It is a common belief that due to automation in the manufacturing industry, it has, more or less, reached its full potential. Since almost every aspect of manufacturing has now become automated, it has led to this widespread belief. However, this is far from being a fact. The reason lies in the struggle the manufacturing industry is facing for managing toxic byproducts. The common methods that are currently followed for disposing of toxic byproducts are resulting in valuable resource wastage.
The solution to combat this problem lies in realizing and exploring the untapped potential of outer space. There is plenty of limitation that we have to face when it comes to the manufacturing of different products. These limitations result in the loss of valuable resources and an increase in production cost. However, by tapping the potential of outer space, these issues will become non-existent and the profitability will increase up to a great extent.
Simply put, working in space can revolutionize the future of the manufacturing industry. Its benefits can be obtained by every other sector. Taking into consideration the medical field; space manufacturing can uplift the functionality of 3D printing up to a great extent. This use of 3D printing technology is already widespread in different fields including the medical sector; however, creating 3D models is still a time-consuming process. Furthermore, it comes with certain limitations and issues.
The benefit of exploring the potentials of space manufacturing can speed up 3D printing technology by 100 times. Moreover, it can help to solve the gravitational issue that acts as a major constraint in getting the required consistency for 3D printing in the medical field. Once this issue is resolved, with the help of space manufacturing, there will be no chance of immune rejection in the case when a fully functional 3D printed heart is implanted in a patient’s body.
Apart from the medical field, space technology can bring a whole lot of changes in various other sectors. It can help to limit resource wastage. For example, a huge amount of water is wasted to disperse toxic byproducts. This issue can be combatted by utilizing the potential of space manufacturing.
A huge number of vital resources are being used in manufacturing different technological products. For example, a lot of water is wasted after the manufacturing of microchips for cleaning and cooling processes. The solution to this issue to rely on the freezing condition of space for the manufacturing of these microchips. In the modern world, these chips are part of almost every gadget and device. Thus, the amount of water that is surfed merely for the purpose of cooling the manufacturing plants is huge. If these microchips are manufactured in space, there will be no such issue as the freezing conditions there will automatically cool down the plant.
Solar energy is another technology that has helped us to utilize natural resources. Furthermore, it has also reduced our dependency on traditional energy-producing methods. However, the manufacturing of solar panels comes with the issue of producing numerous byproducts including arsenic. This issue can be resolved by taking benefits from outer space potential. Not only byproducts will be properly managed but the quality of solar panels will improve drastically.
The biggest advantage of using the outer space potentials in the discussion for producing solar energy comes in form of the availability of an abundance of solar energy that too without bearing the cost of huge manufacturing expenses. Wondering how? It can be done using assembling solar panels in space facing the sun, a huge amount of solar energy could be produced. The best part, there will be no issue of toxic byproducts. It can prove to be an absolutely safe method of ‘green’ energy production without causing any harm to our planet.
Now we have discussed the major potential space manufacturing has for us, the question here arises is that how to tap them. It is a known fact that using rocket launchers to explore space is not a cheap feat. We have shed light above that how we can do the manufacturing part there on the space to avoid the obstacles and limitations that we have to face here on the earth and increase the manufacturing cost. Furthermore, it has also been discussed how these limitations and obstacles also make for a big reason for resource wastage. The best approach concluded was to use space manufacturing to our advantage but for this, the manufacturing material will have to be taken to space, which is certainly not something affordable.
In addition to that, surviving and thriving in space isn’t easy as it seems on paper. One has to learn to live off the land in a completely different environment. For this, there are numerous resources required i.e. food, water, and of course, oxygen supply.
A point to ponder here is space has all the resources we require. Right from raw material to water supplies, it has everything that too in abundance. And not to forget the solar radiation from the sun that can be used for so many purposes. The major limitation here is to find an affordable way to tap these potentials. Furthermore, we are not yet clear on the quantity of these resources in the space. Take into consideration the water, we do not know yet whether how much of it is available in the space. Thus, prospecting resources is another factor that needs consideration.
For this reason, NASA requested proposals from other companies to find space utilization ideas and plans.
All in all, it is safe to say that space manufacturing can revolutionize our industry. By harvesting its resources, we can have increased quality products along with clean energy without having to face the issue of managing toxic byproducts and wastage. In addition to that, it will also eliminate the gravitational issues that are currently persistent in various industries and increasing the production cost. However, for this to happen, efficient resource prospecting and acquisition plans must be devised.