Space Tango Reveals Plans for LEO Commercialization with their ST-42 Autonomous Orbital Platform
Space Tango has announced ST-42, a fully autonomous, robotic, orbital platform designed specifically for scalable manufacturing in space.
Launching in the mid 2020’s, ST-42 aims to harness the unique environment of microgravity to produce high value products across industries; from patient therapeutics to advanced technology products that have the potential to revolutionize industries here on Earth. ST-42 is an extension of the International Space Station’s (ISS) capabilities, and NASA’s creation of a robust commercial marketplace in LEO.
Artistic rendition of Space Tango's ST-42 spacecraft.
ST-42 will bring the economics of production in orbit into reality coupling autonomy with the reduced cost and larger number of launch vehicle providers. Space Tango expects the platform to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs in knowledge discovery, therapeutic solutions and manufacturing, and to provide the required capabilities for creation of new biomedical and technology product sectors in the commercial Space economy.
While early modules will be focused on technology applications and materials production, ST-42’s initial design will incorporate features that address Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP). These regulations are enforced by the FDA and are a critical component in the production of patient therapeutics that Space Tango intends to establish as a capability on orbit within the platform. In addition to harnessing microgravity to create the next billion-dollar LEO market sectors, ST-42’s leap forward in the design of autonomous manufacturing capabilities has the potential to change the current paradigm and approach of multiple industries.
This platform is the logical extension of [our] work and will create a new category of capabilities for LEO commercialization in the space economy.
Development of LEO opportunities for a variety of commercial applications continues to gain steam and will be a growing part of the modern economy. Estimates from Morgan Stanley predict that the revenue generated by the global space industry, which today consists mainly of satellites that leverage only one aspect of LEO as the vantage point of Space, will increase to $1.1 trillion or more by 2040, up from $350 billion in 2016. This illustrates the enormous potential of the expanding Space Economy and the opportunity for the creation of new markets that will drive further commercial applications that will benefit Earth.
Twyman Clements, President and CEO of Space Tango, said that with the company's product line on the ISS, Space Tango has started to pinpoint the applications and understand the unit economics of building high value products in microgravity for Earth. This platform is the logical extension of that work and will create a new category of capabilities for LEO commercialization in the space economy. The company's experienced team has crafted a vision for the future of manufacturing in space as well as the procedures, partnerships and tangible plans for executing ST-42.