Space Manufacturing Revolution: IIT Madras & Vellon Space Pact

Image of IIT Madras Mini Space Lab, a pivotal component of the groundbreaking Space Manufacturing Revolution partnership between IIT Madras and Vellon Space
Space Manufacturing Revolution: IIT Madras & Vellon Space Pact

In a groundbreaking development for orbital 'Microgravity Research,' the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has joined forces with Vellon Space, an Indian space start-up, to advance research and development in extra-terrestrial manufacturing. This collaboration signifies a pivotal moment in the field, with IIT Madras extending its Technology Development Fund to Vellon Space for the demonstration of its miniature space laboratory, 'AsteriX Lab,' in orbit.

ExTeM-IITM: Leading the Way

The 'Extra-Terrestrial Manufacturing' (ExTeM-IITM) research center at IIT Madras will serve as the pilot customer for Vellon Space's in-orbit demonstration mission. ExTeM-IITM comprises a group of researchers focused on developing technologies for manufacturing in space, for both space and terrestrial applications. This partnership aims to address a significant gap in current space-related manufacturing research.

AsteriX Lab: Pioneering Space Qualification

The AsteriX Lab will undergo space qualification during its demonstration, focusing on conducting biological experiments, particularly long-duration cell culture under Lower Earth Microgravity conditions. This critical step, scheduled for completion by 2025, will significantly advance biomanufacturing in space.

Implications for Biomanufacturing and Drug Development

According to ExTeM-IIT Madras, this project lays the foundation for biomanufacturing in space, potentially revolutionizing cell culture and drug development processes and leading to improved pharmaceuticals and human health outcomes.

Advancing Understanding of Microgravity's Effects

The project holds promise for significant advancements in understanding how microgravity affects biological systems. This collaboration is also expected to drive innovations in drug development and create commercial opportunities in the space technology sector.

Strategic Alignment for Scientific Advancements

Vellon Space has highlighted the strategic alignment of expertise and resources in this partnership. The joint effort is expected to drive scientific advancements and lay the groundwork for future endeavors in In-Space Manufacturing.

Future of Space Manufacturing Research

While technologies for manufacturing launch vehicles and satellites are being developed, the near future will require technologies enabling the manufacturing of products and assemblies in space for use both in space and on Earth.

The collaboration between IIT Madras and Vellon Space represents a convergence of innovation and vision, poised to unlock the full potential of space technology and propel humanity into a new era of exploration and discovery.

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