Redwire Corporation has announced its plans to expand its in-space manufacturing technology in order to target the global semiconductor market. The company will launch the first pathfinder mission for its autonomous semiconductor manufacturing platform, MSTIC, which will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on Northrop Grumman’s upcoming 20th cargo resupply mission.
Semiconductors play a crucial role in the functionality of various modern devices, including smartphones, computers, automobiles, and medical equipment. With the global semiconductor market valued at over $600 billion in 2022 and projected to exceed $1 trillion by 2030, there is a growing need for innovative solutions and a focus on domestic production due to geopolitical tensions and complex production processes in the semiconductor supply chain.
John Vellinger, President of Redwire’s In-Space Industries, stated that the company aims to expand its space manufacturing capabilities to reach new markets and drive innovation that could support U.S. leadership in the global semiconductor ecosystem. The pathfinder mission for MSTIC is an important step in validating space-based manufacturing processes that could potentially deliver superior components compared to those produced on Earth, thereby impacting semiconductor supply chains.
The MSTIC payload is a collaborative effort between Redwire, the ISS National Laboratory, and NASA, and is part of NASA’s In Space Production Applications Flight Demonstrations program. This program aims to maintain U.S. leadership in in-space manufacturing and demonstrate the production of advanced materials and products for terrestrial markets.
MSTIC is a significant addition to Redwire’s portfolio, which already includes over 20 facilities developed for the ISS, with eight currently operational in orbit. As part of its commitment to enhancing in-space manufacturing, Redwire plans to establish a 30,000 square foot microgravity payload development facility and mission operations center in Floyd County, Indiana. This facility will support the production of critical technologies for human spaceflight missions and commercial microgravity research and development in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).