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The 3D Printer Will be Sent to the International Space Station

Issuing time:2019-07-03 17:19

According to BBC news reported on 23th, February, the 3D printer will be sent to the International Space Station next month. It will be the first manufacturing facility that being sent to the space in human history.

Made In Space has been given $20 million by NASA to work on the 3D printer. It will be sent to the ISS with six astronauts, producing parts in the space. Andrew Rush, the chief executive of Made In Space, the NASA-funded startup developing the technology stated: You can bring us a USB stick with your file, and we can digitally send it to space. Via 3D printing we can make that object and completely avoid putting it on a rocket.

The system would allow the construction of huge structures in space, manufactured and assembled automatically by robots. The success of this project could revolutionize space construction and say goodbye to the current method of sending flat packed structures to space on rockets where they are then unfolded and constructed, allowing structures too fragile to survive the launch to space or other logistically problematic structures. Made In Space estimate it will be 3 to 4 years before the truly big projects take root, and the technology is planned to be licensed out to commercial enterprises. Making the 3D printing no longer reliant on the Earths resources is another step on the road to the self-sufficiency of space. The raw materials that can be found in space, from asteroids to the surfaces of moons and planets are being explored as resources to be used for 3D printing, with the end goal of not just removing reliance on Earth, but even allowing for the construction of things that are impossible with only materials from the Earths environment.

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."

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