I remember reading utopian predictions about space manufacturing. It's clear that factories in space delivering consumer goods for your local retailer is not going to happen in the near future.

But I've just come across the more reasonable claim that the knowledge gained from research in space could be applied to Earthly manufacturing. For instance, giant crystals grown in space that can be studied with x-ray scattering, and then the knowledge gained can be applied to Earthly production of medicines.

So I'm wondering what are some specific examples of research done in space that have led directly to products produced on Earth. Not spin-off technologies, not for space applications, and not basic research. But manufacturing on Earth supported by research done in space for that purpose.


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I know it isn't much, and it's in German, but there is a brief mention of work on the ISS here. The transcript reads "Later, Alexander Gerst finally gets the smelter working. Here, new materials are optimized in that two metals are melted together in weightlessness, and these alloys will be used, for instance, to make vanes for jet engines."

It would be nice to know what value the space research adds, and if the knowledge gained is, in fact, used in jet engines. The video doesn't get into that.


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