Virtek helps bring sustainable space tourism to life

08 December 2022

Space Perspective, the world’s only carbon-neutral luxury spaceflight experience company, is harnessing the power of Virtek’s Iris 3D Vision Positioning System (VPS) in the manufacture of its revolutionary Spaceship Neptune — a pressurized capsule propelled by a high-performance SpaceBalloon, which takes explorers on a transformative journey to space without using rocket fuel or high G forces.

The Iris 3D system locates parts in 3D space and then precisely projects a laser template onto the workpiece to guide operators through each step of the composite layup and fabrication process. The system delivers superior laser line visibility, especially on large tools and parts with complex geometries,Source: Virtek Vision InternationalSource: Virtek Vision International even in brightly lit manufacturing environments.

Space Perspective was looking for ways to accelerate its composite layup processes and reduce labor intensive tasks, but also needed the flexibility to work in different areas of its manufacturing floor. The Virtek system’s integrated FlashAlign feature eliminates the need for workers to align laser targets manually, so it streamlines the initial setup process and improves overall worker productivity. In addition, because Virtek’s Iris 3D system is compact and highly portable, workers can quickly and easily reposition it on the manufacturing floor for use on any tool.

Peter Tinkman, manager of capsule manufacturing engineering at Space Perspective, said, “The Virtek laser-based vision system has enabled us to reduce waste, increase technician confidence and add a critical layer of verification to our manufacturing process. As one can imagine, our composite tooling and parts are quite large and have complicated geometries, but Virtek’s solution makes dealing with these challenges a breeze.”

Dietmar Wennemer, president and CEO of Virtek, said, “For over three decades, Virtek has partnered with top-tier space pioneers and aeronautical manufacturers, helping them to minimize set up time, dramatically improve throughput and increase quality. Today, our team is honored to help Space Perspective’s team to innovate faster in their quest to pioneer space tourism.”

Virtek’s experienced service technicians install and calibrate each Iris projection system and customize operator training to meet the organization’s unique process needs.

Setting a new bar in out-of-this-world adventures, Space Perspective plans to take space explorers to space beginning in late 2024. During the six-hour journey, explorers will see the world anew from 20 miles above the Earth. The ultra-comfortable, accessible and gentle journey redefines space travel.

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