If we must grow as a civilization, we must find a way to build the impossible in space. A California-based firm named Varda Space Industries recently revealed that it has successfully deployed its first satellite named W-Series 1, into orbit. The startup co-founded by a SpaceX veteran targets to commence with massive production of materials in space.
These materials are not just any type of product as they cannot be produced on Earth or built faster with highly improved qualities in a microgravity environment. The company is so determined to create a fascinating change in the way we explore space in this century.
“The world’s first space factory’s solar panels have found the sun and it’s beginning to de-tumble,” Varda announced on Twitter, immediately after the satellite was lifted to orbit aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-8 mission on Monday, June 13.
How Varda Space Industries Is Planning to Revolutionize The Future of Companies In Space
Varda Space Industries housed the W-Series 1 satellite inside one of Rocket Lab’s Photon platforms. The rocket lab’s Photon is a satellite solution for which NASA has already awarded a contract to launch two missions to Mars by 2024. The startup launched its satellite as part of the company’s test campaign. This test campaign was initiated to figure out if satellite solutions can be deployed in improving pharmaceuticals outside the Earth.
“From more powerful fiber optic cables to new, life-saving pharmaceuticals, there is a world of products used on Earth today that can only be manufactured in space,” Varda wrote on its website.
The company has been conducting several scientific studies to prove that protein crystals grown in space can take more accurate structures than their counterparts created on Earth. This is because the formation process of the protein crystals will be highly affected by gravity on Earth. However, in the microgravity conditions of space, the protein crystals will be produced with a more perfect structure.
Research conducted by pharmaceutical firm Merck aboard the International Space Station as reported by CNN is one perfect example of this scientific study. The study conducted by pharmaceutical firm Merck shows that there is a more stable type of active ingredient pembrolizumab, normally used in producing cancer drugs. Hence, that study shows that such an ingredient could be produced better in a microgravity environment of space.
Unlike previous studies conducted in space, Varda will focus its first mission on finding how to develop ritonavir in space. This drug is mostly used to treat HIV traditionally. In addition, the firm also signed a different agreement with the U.S. Air Force to carry out a hypersonic test and travel at a speed of Mach-25 while making a reentry into our atmosphere.
What You Should Know About Varda Space Industries
Varda Space Industries was founded in 2020 by W ex-SpaceX avionics engineer Will Bruey and Delian Asparouhov of Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. Hence, the co-founders of this great firm thought of a future where space could be leveraged for its economic benefits. These benefits include of producing drugs and other pharmaceutical products in a weightless environment of space.
It also has the vision of producing certain products in space. In March, the firm announced that it has been awarded a $60 million contract from U.S. Air Force STRATFI to use for its re-entry vehicle as a hypersonic testbed. The company will put extra effort to ensure that it accomplishes its goals and objectives anytime soon.
Varda Space Industries has a great plan for the future of companies in space. Hence, with its recent satellite, the California-based startup is a step closer to accomplishing its goals in space. What do you think about this fascinating innovation?