Thursday, December 21, 2006

Homebrew Space Community?

At The Speculist, there is a blog entry about the requirement of nanomanufacturing (or at least, fabbing), for the settlement of space.
"Industrial facilities" - would be prohibitively expensive with our present level of technology. The factory pictured below has hundreds of thousands of square feet - and that's just for one product. That kind of maufacturing just can't be duplicated on Mars.

Of course, many people disagree, as you can see from the comments in that post. I don't think that anyone would argue that such technologies will make things easier, though.

No one really knows how far away nanomanufacturing is. Fabbing, however, is already here. You can buy the parts for your own Fabber and build it for less than $3000. There are also many online-based manufacturers, such as eMachineshop. For those of us who are engineers (I am a student in the profession), we can start designing and perhaps even building the technologies that we will use in space. There is already one organization dedicated to this endeavor. OSCOMAK aims to build an open source repository on manufacturing techniques and blueprints for the technologies to build a space settlement. We can get started today.

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