The United States, which built its economy on mass production, now is doing the same thing with space materials.
Space factory on hill, interior machine rooms, machinist making parts, surgically clean examination of parts and components, workers looking through magnifying glasses, satellite in process of completion an closeup of same, giant vacuum chamber which duplicates space environment, large vans at end of production line, general view of factory room
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Background: The United States, which built its economy on mass production, now is doing the same thing with space materials.
Near Los Angeles, California (American West Coast), the world's first space factory is in operation at Space Park, California.
The raw materials, components and the ideas go into the factory and come out as finished and tested spacecraft ready for launching and flight.
The entire operation is under one roof, which is the difference Heretofore, the work has been spread out across the United States at many different factories and geographical locations.
In the Space Park Factory, all mechanical equipment is finely made and to close tolerances in the machine shop. In an adjacent room, electronic components are handled under conditions of surgical cleanliness. Some parts are so small that workers must use magnifiers to assembly and test them.
Many of the component parts and sub-systems actually move along assembly lines to test chambers. One major project is the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory, which can carry on as many as 50 experiments in space on a single spacecraft.
Final checkout of equipment is made in large vans in big rooms at the end of the production line. When tests are completed, the entire van, its crew and satellite then roll out to the launch pad.
Other work done at the factory is with highly classified satellites which will be used for high altitude nuclear test detection.
The new space factory is expected to speed the delivery date of satellites. More like it will be built as the space industry expands and progresses.