The industry team aims to deploy a 3D printing robot in space as part of the agency's Archinaut mission, Northrop said Tuesday.
Made In Space received a $74M prime contract to conduct the flight demonstration of robotic spacecraft designed to produce two 10-meter rods that unfold into solar panels.
The demonstration will mark the second phase of the agency's mission to implement an additive manufacturing process through space-based robotics.
“Demonstrating additive manufacturing in space will open up new doors in the design and construction of space structures that to date have been limited by the volume of a launch vehicle,” said Richard Stapp, vice president for resiliency and rapid prototyping at Northrop.
The company administered thermal vacuum tests and provided expertise on avionics and integration engineering for the program's first phase.