Italy leads 'made in space' race

'Sci-fi dream set to become reality' says Battiston

(ANSA) - Milan, May 11 - Italy is leading the 'made in space' race with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) planning the first factories outside Earth's orbit, newly reappointed ASI chief Roberto Battiston told the Mars to Earth 2018 conference Friday.
    The extremely high-tech products will be unique because they will be made in the absence of gravity, he said.
    "If factories in space seemed science fiction until very recently, now they are about to become reality," he said, noting that the absence of gravity changes the production process in many cases.
    Optic fibre produced in space, for instance, are more efficient because they are 10 times purer than their Earth-made counterparts.
    The conference, promoted by the Mars Planet association, discussed the prospects of industrial, scientific and civilian development linked to space technologies.