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The European Commission has selected Airbus to study spacecraft manufacturing in space as part of the horizon 2020 Programme. The PERASPERA In-Orbit Demonstration project, also called PERIOD, aims to focus on satellite manufacturing in orbit.
Producing directly in orbit will be a revolutionary way to design, build and operate space systems. It is much more convenient to produce and assemble directly in orbit than transporting from the Earth to space. The objects made in space are free from constraints and launch requirements, e.g. (launcher mass and volume limitations, structural strength to withstand launch).
PERIOD will stimulate future research and generate undiscovered market opportunities, resulting in growth and new technologies.
“Airbus has been working on in-orbit manufacturing technologies for more than a decade and the PERIOD programme will help Europe move its combined technological know-how to the next level,” said Silvio Sandrone, head of Space Exploration future projects at Airbus. “Future large-scale space systems can only be manufactured and assembled in orbit, so it’s crucial that Europe is at the forefront of this key capability.”