- Laurence Russell
Orbital Assembly and CisLunar Industries sign collaboration agreement
Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC), the leader in developing a commercially viable, space-based business park with variable gravity, today announced an agreement with CisLunar Industries® to collaborate on providing metal-processing services on its Pioneer-classTM space station. OAC will provide on-orbit facilities to CisLunar Industries, and CisLunar Industries will provide metal processing as a service (MPaaS) and construction and manufacturing materials to OAC.
The Pioneer-classTM, the world’s first and largest hybrid space stations for both work and play, will be the first free-flying, habitable, privately operated facility in orbit. It will have five spacious customizable modules built around OAC’s rotating Gravity RingTM architecture. The ring will accommodate CubeSat format rackspace, communications systems, solar panels, and other systems for commercial, industrial, and research applications.
CisLunar Industries plans to utilize OAC’s on-orbit Pioneer station facilities for research and development, testing, materials processing, and manufacturing of finished components for sale to both OAC and its customers.
"Metal processing is a critical link in the value chain of the emerging in-space industrial economy," says Gary Calnan, chief executive officer of CisLunar Industries. "This agreement with OAC expands CisLunar Industries’ presence in the neighbourhood of Commercial LEO Destinations and provides new opportunities for metal-processing in variable gravity.”
Development plans include:
Facilities for a CisLunar Industries Modular Space Foundry (MSF) to process metal into useful products that can be used by OAC for the construction of load-bearing space-station components and other structures.
Hosting CisLunar Industries equipment in either microgravity or partial gravity to advance the understanding of metal phase-change and physical characteristics and behavior in variable gravity.
Simulating gravity conditions of Lunar, Martian, and other solar-system locations on board a Pioneer-class™ station for testing prior to costly missions to those destinations.
Exploring new joint revenue opportunities through other industry collaborations.
"CisLunar Industries and OAC see significant revenue opportunities and a way for us to source materials in orbit to expand our facilities without the need for costly launches," says Orbital Assembly CEO Rhonda Stevenson. "Together, we plan to create sustainable manufacturing capabilities that will facilitate responsible growth of the space ecosystem, and leverage the unique attributes of variable gravity environments."
A basic Pioneer station model that accommodates 28 guests will provide a hybrid environment of microgravity (Zero-G) and variable levels of gravity up to 0.57-G. Custom configurations are possible to accommodate more people or meet specific commercial equipment specifications. Each Pioneer module will offer up to 14,000 cu. ft. of space.