Above: Mike Snyder and Jason Dunn of Made In Space work on construction of the 3D printer in the company’s cleanroom. Credit: Made In Space
The first 3D printer ever to fly in space will blast off this month, and NASA has high hopes for the innovative device’s test runs on the International Space Station.
The 3D printer, which is scheduled to launch toward the orbiting lab Sept. 19 aboard SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo capsule, could help lay the foundation for broader in-space manufacturing capabilities, NASA officials said. The end result could be far less reliance on resupply from Earth, leading to cheaper and more efficient missions to faraway destinations such as Mars.