California Startup Made In Space To Make Optical Fiber In Orbit

Society is about to take another big step into the age of space-based manufacturing.

Early next year, California-based startup Made In Space plans to launch a machine to the International Space Station (ISS) that will produce ZBLAN optical fiber.

ZBLAN has the potential to be much more efficient than the silica-based fiber currently used in the internet and telecommunications industries, but it's tough to make here on Earth because the planet's strong gravitational pull induces imperfections in the ZBLAN crystal lattice, Made In Space representatives said.

http://www.space.com/34542-made-in-space-optical-fiber-in-orbit.html