Watch a rocket tank being built, mostly by robots

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Capitalism in space: The video below the fold shows the process by which Interorbital Systems built a rocket test tank for the Neptune smallsat rocket it is developing. It is definitely worth watching if you want to see the future of complex manufacturing. Robotic equipment does most of the work, in a precise manner that would be impossible for humans, which therefore allows for the construction of engineering designs that were previously impossible or too expensive. Now, such designs can be built relatively cheaply, and repetitively.

Hat tip Doug Messier at Parabolic Arc.



  • wayne

    Yes, interesting video! Is there a companion video where they pressurize it until it explodes?

    good stuff.

    I’d nominate this series as one of the better portrayals of historical, hypnotic, mass assembly:
    Master Hands (Part IV) 1936
    Chevrolet assembly plant, Flint, Mi.

  • Edward

    wayne asked: “Yes, interesting video! Is there a companion video where they pressurize it until it explodes?

    Be careful when testing to destruction. One time, we tested to destruction the standoffs for a chilled electronics box, thinking that our design would impress the customer at the high dynamic G-load that it took to break the composite standoffs. Instead of awe, the customer was shocked, saying “the unit broke?” The best laid plans of mice and engineers …

  • ken anthony

    This is the basic question of capital investment that began with the industrial revolution and accelerated with numeric computer controls. It’s justified when economics says it is.

    A technician I know justified by one act his employment to the end of time by adding a sensor that avoided tool breakage on a row of powder presses he worked with by stopping the machine from double punching a part. Machines can be impressive but it’s people that make things happen.

  • pzatchok

    Could you imagine up-scaling this tech and building space habitats using a reusable, inflatable mold almost a 100 meters long and 50 meters in diameter.

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