Jacksonville, Florida-(Business wire)-Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW), a leader in space infrastructure for the next-generation space economy, announces to researchers at the leading Electron Microscopy Center (CEMAS) the first sale of optical crystals manufactured in space. Did. The Ohio State University electron microscope facility. The deal recorded that 2 grams of crystals made in space were sold to Ohio. Based on the sample size sold, the value of crystals produced in space is about $ 2 million per kilogram.
Space-ready optical crystals were manufactured at Redwire’s Industrial Crystallization Facility (ICF) onboard the International Space Station (ISS). This is the first time a space-ready material product has been sold on Earth. This is an important milestone in space commercialization and a demand signal for Redwire’s space-based manufacturing.
Optical crystals manufactured in space can bring significant improvements to the high-power, large-scale laser systems used on Earth. The high energy laser market is growing strongly as the number of applications on the ground grows, from advanced manufacturing and machining to weapons systems. These laser systems are made possible by high efficiency laser lenses manufactured using optical crystals.
Currently, optical crystals manufactured on Earth have a low damage threshold due to gravity-induced inclusions and defects, and the lens suffers laser-induced damage, limiting the power of high-power laser systems. increase. Optical crystals manufactured in space have fewer inclusions and defects due to the process manufactured in space, which increases the threshold for laser damage and can improve system performance.
“This is an exciting milestone that validates commercialization plans for low-orbit space-ready products and further stimulates demand for space production,” said Andrew Rush, President and COO of Redwire. I am. “This is the watershed of space commercialization. While we continue to improve the production technology of various products, we are now beyond the Pathfinder demonstration, sustainable, profitable, large-scale space-ready products. The focus is on increasing production. Redwire’s orbital factory is open and expanding its orbital capabilities to serve new markets. ”
“The Ohio State University’s ability to handle space-grown crystals is a space-based earth material that addresses complex challenges in areas ranging from cancer to planetary science, characterizing unique signature materials. And improve the ability of CEMAS to grow as a research facility, said Dr. John Hollac, a professor of aerospace at Ohio State University and chair of Neil Armstrong.
CEMAS researchers have studied crystals grown in space and compared them to potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) crystals grown on Earth using an aberration-corrected electron microscope, with impurities and defect atoms between the two materials. Observe the difference in scale. Achieved. Space-manufactured crystals provide an opportunity for CEMAS to build a group’s ability to analyze space-manufactured materials and materials that may be returned from asteroids, the Moon, and Mars in the future. The insights gained from this research could also be useful in the process of developing space-manufactured optical crystals to optimize future products.
Launched in early 2021, the ICF is a commercial space manufacturing designed to demonstrate micro-gravity enhancement techniques commonly used in high-energy laser systems on Earth to grow inorganic KDP crystals. It is a facility. This facility is just one of several Redwire ISS payloads developed with the aim of driving and expanding the demand for LEO’s commercial capabilities by producing high value products for ground use.
For more information on Redwire’s space manufacturing capabilities, please visit www.redwirespace.com.
Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW) is a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation of space economy, with valuable IP for solar power and in-space 3D printing and manufacturing. Combining decades of flight heritage with the agile and innovative culture of commercial space platforms, Redwire is in a unique position to assist customers in solving the complex challenges of future space missions. For more information, please visit www.redwirespace.com.