Space stations are currently turning out to be the prime focus of the space agencies as there are talks building a space hotel that is going around. The basic issue of the space stations when it comes to construction is that they are really big. The International Space Station (ISS) is 357 Feet end-to-end and weighs almost 420 Tons along with a pressurized volume of 932 cubic meters. The rockets that fly the stations to space are really small and thus, there are many trips that have to be made. For constructing the ISS, around 42 separate missions were made for it to be built within the 10 Years time period.
For now, SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy rocket is the biggest rocket with the ability to lift 64 Tons at a time. On the other hand, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon space capsule can carry a total payload volume of about 46 cubic meters. Thus, using the two can help build another space station with just 20 separate launches. The idea of building the space station in the orbit is the concept that SpaceX and its partners, Nanoracks and Maxar Technologies are planning to explore for the last 5 Years. The current mission has been named “In-Space Outpost Demonstration” and there are plans that Nanoracks will be sending payload weighing 200 Kilograms into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The Nanoracks’ device will have an articulating robotic arm built by Maxar Technologies to grind or melt metals. The spent rockets parts will be used to construct a new space station. SpaceX plans to host a SmallSat Rideshare launch wherein the companies would be given a chance to have their satellites sent into orbit between November 2020 and December 2021.
On a similar note, the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) has stated that China plans to accomplish a 200-tonne megawatt-level space-based solar power station by 2035. The space-based solar power station could make use of solar energy and convert it to microwaves or lasers that will be beamed back onto the Earth’s surface for further human consumption. Thus, the various ideas of building space stations on the orbit could help make scientific and technological breakthroughs.