Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

The 3D printer that will be sent to the International Space Station next month

Posted in Science on 24th Feb, 2016 07:49 PM by AlexMuller

On 23 March, a 3D printer will be blasted up to the six-strong crew in the ISS. It will be used to make spare parts, as well as experiments. A prototype printer, the first manufacturing device ever in space, has already been trailed by the ISS crew. This new model, however, will see the project move into being fully operational.


"You can bring us a USB stick with your file, and we can digitally send it to space," says Andrew Rush, chief executive of Made In Space, the Nasa-funded start-up developing the technology.
"Via 3D printing we can make that object and completely avoid putting it on a rocket."
Given $20m (£14.2m) by Nasa, Made In Space is also working on Archinaut, a system the company said would one day enable the manufacture of huge structures that could be assembled, in space, by robots.
Mr Rush plans "giant radio dishes that could service many people, or do amazing science and peer deep into the universe's past". Right now, sending big items into space is a task described by Nasa as "like origami".
Structures are folded up for launch, and then expanded and constructed once in orbit. Being able to build in space would remove the significant logistical restriction of working out what can survive been blasted off the Earth strapped to a rocket. The team estimates it will be three to four years before the huge ambitions materialise. The technology will be licensed out to commercial enterprises.
Not far up the road from Nasa, you will find Tesla - a very willing collaborator. Until then, experiments with the small-scale 3D printer will be the focus of Made In Space's efforts.
In particular, the team is looking intently at how to use raw materials found in space - including on the surface of moons, and Mars.
"The space environment is a very valuable and unique environment," says Mr Rush. "We can make things that would just be impossible to create on Earth.
"This will eventually enable us to really live off the land, not only in micro-gravity, but on other moons and planets."

Tags: spaceMade In Space3D printingISSNASAhardware

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-02-25
Being able to build in space and make required objects at short notice is definitely the way to go - 3D printing has many applications and this one is quite remarkable Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2018-04-25 01:10:39
    Wind, solar deliver stunning 98 percent of new U.S. more
    Posted in Software on 2018-04-25 01:05:01
    Robot automation leaders Foxconn and Tesla face more
    Posted in Business on 2018-04-23 23:22:30
    Climate change: Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5m for more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-04-23 23:17:24
    The foods that might help with more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-04-22 23:49:35
    NASA’s proposed multi-billion orbiting moonbase used more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me