Varda Space Industries is a California-based space research company with aspirations to be the first to build fully functional space stations for industrial use. At the core of the company is a vision to build an in-space economy to improve life on Earth and beyond.
Varda believes decades of public research have validated the benefits to manufacturing specific goods in space, which—along with more affordable means to reach orbit—have paved the way to establish manufacturing facilities off planet.
During the interview I ask Will to elaborate on the benefits, and he explains that it’s space’s lack of gravity that is the fundamental driver to innovation. He explains that the microgravity environment and absence of dust particles allow for the manufacturing of fine technical products such as computer chips, pharmaceuticals, and fiber optics.
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In addition to the benefits, I also ask Will how the factories in Orbit would work. The company’s initial spacecraft will consist of three main components: satellite bus, payload factor module, and reentry capsule.
Will clarifies that the manufacturing operations in orbit will be a distributed set of robotic satellites rather than one large space station, where the autonomous facilities would produce a single product, which would then be shuttled back to earth at hypersonic speeds (Mach 25 or 19,000 mph) via an unmanned reentry vehicle.
During the episode, I also get a chance to ask Will about his professional journey, particularly his time at SpaceX and how that impacted his career, as well as the leadership lessons he’s learned starting and co-founding his own company.
So, join me once again for another fascinating episode of Laser Focused, where I take you on a journey of discovery with leaders who are changing the world with new designs and revolutionizing how we think of innovation.
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