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Thanks to the 3D-printer life and work on the ISS will be easier
The following summer, the crew of the International Space Station will be able to take another step into the future. On board the ISS for the first time will bring 3D-printer, which will have to significantly ease the life and work of the people. The equipment can be used when necessary to fulfill a variety of tasks and capabilities of the device will be limited only by imagination of the astronauts.
Perhaps the most important use of 3D-printer is the ability to create tools and materials that can be useful in the future ISS team. All you need for this is the presence of the original instrument and the necessary software, through which astronauts will be able to create the required 3D-model, and then print it on the 3D-printer.
Official representatives of the space agency NASA said that this is the first step towards the creation of the famous replicator from the cult of the universe Star Trek, an instrument capable of producing anything – from the mechanical parts required for the repair to the food. Unfortunately, 3D-printer that NASA will send to the ISS next year, can not produce the food, but the production needed to replace the mechanical parts of his problems just no no.
Transportation 3D-printer in space will be the result of a joint project, the work belongs to NASA Marshall Space Center (MSFC) and the California-based company Made in Space (MIS).
«3D-printer, which we will send to the space station will actually do the first 3D-printer that was in space. Believe it – no, but this is the first step towards the creation of [the replicator from Star Trek] », – shared Nicky Verkheyzer, Senior Project Manager 3D-printer MSFC.
Representatives of the company Made in Space believe that the most difficult part of this project was to create a printer capable of working in microgravity, but the attempts to create in themselves justify the project. The company has conducted several test runs printer artificially created conditions on board the plane, where time is determined by a set of zero-gravity height and a sharp decline in the aircraft.
Unlike other 3D-printer, a tool that Made in Space send to the ISS will be able to use several materials for making things. Usually, the 3D-printers are created with the condition of use of any specific one material as a key component such as plastic, metal, clay and so on, said portal Space.
“At first, we used plastic, but now the device is able to work with metal and other types of materials,” – explains Verkheyzer.
The device is sent to the ISS in August 2014. Scientists believe that these types of tools will be vital for future long-term space exploration missions since become almost universal tools to help astronauts.
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Tags: 3D-printing , 3D-printers , ISS .
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