IIT Madras establishes research group to manufacture technology in outer space, address gaps

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Anupama Mehra
Assistant Manager – Content
Updated on May 9, 2022 10:00 IST

The main aim is to address these challenges by developing a broad range of manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing of metals and functional optical polymers, water-less concrete using martial soils, diamond single crystals, solar cells, and metal foams.

IIT Madras establishes research group to manufacture technology in outer space, address gaps

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has formed a research group to develop technologies to manufacture products at extra-terrestrial locations and address the existing gaps in this sector in India. India is a leader in developing and applying technologies for manufacturing launch vehicles and satellites, as per the research team.

The main aim is to address these challenges by developing a broad range of manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing of metals and functional optical polymers, water-less concrete using martial soils, diamond single crystals, solar cells, and metal foams, the press release stated.

The research group to develop technologies for Extra-Terrestrial Manufacturing (ExTem) will be working on the first-ever Microgravity Drop Tower Research Facility established in India, which has been created at the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development at IIT, Madras, and is one of six drop towers around the world.

“The human endeavour to explore space like never before, including creating settlements in faraway locations, will require extensive time for humans to spend on-board a spacecraft just to reach there. Such long term human space missions are feasible only with reduced earth-reliance and this mandates capability to manufacture and fabricate needed products in space, in orbit, at extraterrestrial locations and recycle materials effectively,” Sathyan Subbiah, Principal Investigator of the ExTeM Research Group at IIT Madras

“The centre is currently conducting several drop tower experiments to test manufacturing processes such as 3D printing of various engineering materials (metals, polymers), metal foaming, and diamond coating among others, to enable manufacturing in outer space. In addition, the lure of micro-gravity and the advantages it offers to control, and tailor material structures cannot be ignored,” he added.

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Anupama Mehra
Assistant Manager – Content

"The pen is mightier than the sword". Anupama totally believes in this and respects what she conveys through it. She is a vivid writer, who loves to write about education, lifestyle, and governance. She is a hardcor... Read Full Bio

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