NASA is planning on flying what the space agency has described as a “Star Trek” replicator to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Commercial Resupply Services 4 (SpX-4) set to launch this August from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida. What is known as a 3-D printer will be sent to the orbiting laboratory in order to test the additive manufacturing process on orbit. This technology cold revolutionize how space travel is conducted.
The 3-D printer, manufactured by Made In Space is currently undergoing a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It is hoped that this emerging technology will enable deep space exploration missions with crews as it would mean they would not have to carry various repair parts on their spacecraft. Critical engine components and possibly, one day, larger structures may be produced through this technology.
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