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Merrill Lynch, the wealth management division of Bank of America, predicts that the Space Industry will be worth close to $3, TRILLION in 30 years.
What will that look like?
There are companies trying to establish the space tourism industry, such as Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and Orion Span.
Others want to mine asteroids for resources, like Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources.
And today we are going to explore 3 companies who are developing in-space construction technologies.
Currently, space stations have to be cylinder shaped in order to maximize the volume capacity of the launch vehicle.
But by constructing structures in space, it’s space structures only found in science fiction.
And this takes us to the first company, Orbital Assembly.
Orbital Assembly is the business arm of the Gateway Foundation, which is the organization behind the mega spaceport, The Gateway, more on that in a bit.
So, Orbital Assembly aims to be the first Turn-Key Space Construction Company, designed to build any structure in space quickly and with precision.
Orbital’s Chief Architect, Dr. Thomas Spilker worked for more than 20 years as both a scientist and engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and worked on NASA’s Voyager, Cassini, and Genesis missions.
The company’s near-term goal is to assemble small to medium sized projects and they are currently developing drones that will be used for such projects.
But in the long term, Orbital Assembly wants to eventually build a structure that is true, astonishing.
They want to the build The Gateway which looks like it’s straight from a sci-fi movie.
Here is a rendering of the Gateway next to the ISS and other space stations throughout history, it’s massive.
The Gateway is a Massive Spaceport with artificial gravity that measures 488m wide and 76 meters deep.
Orbital’s vision for The Gateway is to be a stopping point for people traveling to and from Earth.
People traveling to Earth from colonies on the Moon and beyond will travel to The Gateway on what the Foundation calls true spaceships, and then they will travel between the Earth and The Gateway on shuttles.
The Gateway will have a crew of 150 and have a guest capacity of 1,250.
The Gateway has 4 main components, first is The Hub measuring 150 m wide and is where the control room, storage, and viewport is located.
Second is the Shuttle Bay, the 120 m wide, two deck component that will facilitate transfers between Earth shuttles and lunar craft.
The Bay contains 8 large cargo airlocks, 10 gates, and 14 activity pads to move spacecraft around.
The third component is the LGA which stands for Lunar Gravity Area, which makes up the rest of the disk area measuring 300 meters wide.
As the name suggests, the artificial gravity produced is similar to the gravity experienced on the moon which is around 20% of what you experience on Earth.
The LGA consists of a large open-air gymnasium, a restaurant, a Japanese garden and park, concert hall, food court, and a casino.
Beneath that layer, there is the LGA Habitation Area which is a layer of hotel rooms.
And the fourth component is the Mars Gravity Area or MGA, making up the outer ring of the structure, measuring over 480 meters wide.
Similar to the LGA, the MGA produces artificial gravity that is close to what you experience on Mars at 30% of the gravity you feel on Earth.