Space Tango Inc. has announced ST-42—a fully autonomous, robotic, low Earth orbit (LEO) platform designed for scalable manufacturing in space. How will ST-42 manage to create products, such as patient therapeutics, while in orbit? The answers lies in utilizing the unique environment of microgravity.
The platform will help NASA meet its goals to develop an LEO commercial marketplace, and serve as an extension of the International Space Station’s (ISS) abilities.
“ST-42 will bring the economics of production in orbit into reality coupling autonomy with the reduced cost and larger number of launch vehicle providers,” according to Space Tango. “Space Tango expects the platform to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs in knowledge discovery, therapeutic solutions and manufacturing, and to provide the required capabilities for creation of new biomedical and technology product sectors in the commercial space economy.”
According to the company, Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements will be at the forefront of the platform’s initial design. Enforced by the FDA, CGMPs “provide for systems that assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities,” according to the FDA.
In the quest to produce patient therapeutics in orbit on ST-42, along with additional advanced technologies, Space Tango plans to address these standards within the autonomous platform.
“With our TangoLab product line on the ISS, Space Tango has begun to pinpoint the applications and understand the unit economics of building high value products in microgravity for Earth,” says Space Tango President and CEO Twyman Clements.
“This platform is the logical extension of this work and will create a new category of capabilities for LEO commercialization in the space economy. Our experienced team has crafted not only a vision for the future of manufacturing in space but procedures, partnerships, and tangible plans for executing ST-42,” continues Clements.
Adding to the growing commercial space industry, Space Tango expects ST-42 to launch by the mid-2020s.