Time for a Concerted Effort to Explore Manufacturing in Microgravity Environments
Space is emerging as the next frontier for advanced manufacturing. The market alone for biomanufacturing in space is expected to reach nearly $3 billion by the mid-2030s. Similar microgravity markets exist in other engineering and technology areas.
Accordingly, the administration and Congress need a coordinated effort to take advantage of the incredible opportunity of manufacturing at scale in the microgravity environment. As a recent gathering of corporations, federal agencies, scientists, and engineers examining biomanufacturing in space noted: “The formation of a public-private consortium is needed to further prioritize opportunities, de-risk space-based research and development (R&D) and guide the translation of results into commercial applications on Earth.”