SAN FRANCISCO – NASA placed an order for $ 73.7 million in Made In Space to add ten-meter support on board Archinaut One, a small satellite to be launched in 2022.
"As production progresses, each carrier unfolds two solar cell arrays that produce up to five times more current on spacecraft of similar size than conventional solar panels," a July 12 news release said.
Archinaut One is scheduled to launch electron rocket in 2022 with a Rocket Lab from New Zealand.
"The manufacture and assembly of robots in space is an indisputable prerequisite for future space exploration," said Jim Reuter, NASA Space Technology Space Deputy Administrator, in a statement. "By taking the lead in developing this transformative technology, the United States will maintain its leading position in space exploration as we advance with astronauts to the Moon and then to Mars." Made In Space started in 201
Made In Space architects partners include Northrop Grumman, NASA Ames and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Technology such as Archinaut has important applications for future space missions, as it could lead to the construction of large communications antennas, space telescopes, power systems and reflectors in orbit, according to the NASA press release.  As part of the Tipping Point program, NASA grants funds to companies working on technologies with NASA and commercial space applications. Companies contribute at least 25 percent to the cost of these public-private partnerships.