The Plan to Turn Scrapped Rockets Into Space Stations
An innovative new program titled Outpost seeks to modify old out-of-use rockets and transform them into space stations. The company behind the program is Nanoracks, a space logistics company that hosts private payloads on the International Space Station. The European Space Agency has highlighted the threat abandoned rocket bodies pose to orbiting spacecraft and the Earth. According to Nanorocks, the best solution to this issue is to deorbit rockets and turn them into something valuable and usable.
Although NASA has searched for ways to refurbish fuel tanks, it has come up empty-handed due to a lack of necessary technology. NASA’s plan differs from Nanorocks as it detailed how astronauts would perform manufacturing and assembly work, making the process hazardous and costly. Nanorocks wants to create a series of automated robots that could effectively transform the bodies of spent rockets until they are usable. Nanorocks plans to begin the program’s implementation, focusing primarily on payloads, power supply modules, and small propulsion units.