Is 3D Printing Possible in Space?

Thanks to the film Apollo 13, which dramatized how the April 1970 lunar mission was aborted after an oxygen canister exploded, people know that the astronauts cobbled together spare parts to conserve spacecraft power and get home safely. NASA hopes that in the future, space travelers will be able to create whatever tools or objects they need in space using 3D printers. In a 2018 test, NASA experts on Earth designed and transmitted electronic parameters for a basic wrench, which astronauts on board the International Space Station successfully converted into an actual tool using a 3D printer.

Seeking sustainability in space:

  • The NASA test demonstrated that if future ISS astronauts face an emergency, they will have the ability to create fixes in hours, rather than having to depend on a cargo flight, which could take months to arrive.

  • NASA has also sent a "refabricator" to the ISS. This unique device can recycle used objects and 3D-print new ones, providing fabrication, repair, and recycling of waste plastic during long-duration space missions.

  • In future space exploration missions, NASA could theoretically send robots down to a planet’s surface and 3D-print landing pads and habitats.

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More Info: FedTech magazine

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Post 1

This is great. Now we just need to use this here on earth to recycle!

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