Cassini was one of the most remarkable scientific missions
The prospects of a robotic manufacturing base operating off Earth is not as far-fetched an idea as it used to be. Advances in robotics and remote manufacturing in the form of 3-D printing offer some tantalizing prospects for future designers to consider as they map out the ways to explore and use resources in the solar system. Also, private companies are establishing goals and abilities to use resources available near Earth. Rapid progress is being made toward developing a self-sustaining, space-based industry that would use resources from asteroids and other celestial bodies to meet the needs of Earth.