Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.

We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

Recent Tweets @leerobinsonp

Where do you see space manufacturing going in the next 10 years? Should there be a made in space label? Any thoughts on its design? Where do you see the commercial space environment in 5 years time?


Made in Space - the first goods manufactured in space are already available for commercial purchase. They’re not exotic geneered flying space monkeys (yet), but they are still pretty interesting and more importantly of considerable commercial value. The Monodisperse Latex Reactor flew five times on the Space Shuttle, producing latex microspheres much more spherical than any object available on Earth; so much better that they became a standard measurement tool.

The National Bureau of Standards began to sell these microspheres, which it called “space beads” as Standard Reference Materials (SRMs). The National Bureau of Standards developed five SRMs based on space beads, which became the first space-manufactured products to be offered for commercial sale.

Space beads are still sold by the National Bureau of Standards (now renamed the National Institute of Standards and Technology.) Purchasers have included major companies in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, chemical, and biomedical-instrumentation industries, supply houses, government customers (the EPA, FDA, US Geological Survey, Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, and NASA), and non-profit laboratories such as the Battelle Memorial Institute. International purchasers include laboratories in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand. 

Who would have thought the first industry to make money in space manufacturing would be latex? Vandelay Industries has a killer app at last!