Mission Ctrl-P: HP Launches New Zero-G Printer for the Space Station
Astronauts on the international space station can enter a series of countries. of-the- Instruments and cutting of Art Science From manual to edge technology Even robot assistants for 3D printers hold DNA sequencers. But when it comes to plain old 2D printing, the focus has been on \"old\" so far. \" [ 3D printer of the space station from \"beam\" design make wrench] \"If you consider it from its age, the printer can vote,\" said Stephen Hunt, NASA space station computer resource manager, Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. \"It\'s just the time we put it on track. It could be close to 21 if you add years of development, so the Epson printer might walk to any bar to order a drink. \"The space station has been equipped with the same model of inkjet printers since the first crew members boarded the orbit lab in November 2000: Epson 800. But after almost 20 years, even replacing the device every 18 months or so, keeping the printer running properly has become a real problem. \"I use this metaphor because although the printers work very well, now the maintenance of them is too difficult for us,\" Hunter said in an interview with colletspace . \". \"So we decided to either upgrade our printing capabilities or stop printing. \"Not printing is not an option. Epson helped develop a new printer through NASA\'s invitation, so NASA found a new business partner at HP. Astronauts use printers on the space station for the same reason that people on Earth use printers in their offices and homes. Staff print work documents and personal files. \"Letters, photos and training materials from the family are the type of things the staff prints,\" Hunt said . \". \"If you think about how much you print at home, or how much you print in an office environment, the same thing applies to space, except that the crew has to print something critical. \"While astronauts have plenty of opportunities to use laptops and tablets, there are things that can only be saved in electronic format. For example, if the space station suddenly loses power, or the crew has to evacuate the outpost in case of an emergency, they cannot rely on the available digital screen or the time it takes to access the program. So hard copy is a must. However, there are human factors in addition to the rare accidents. \"The feeling of paper is very human and psychological,\" Hunter explained . \". \"You will get something very personal to the crew -- Letter from Home, picture Some people take home souvenirs from printers. A crew member used a printer to print out their adventure patch on a special type of paper in their home country and use it as a souvenir. Ronald Stephens, R & D manager of HP\'s professional printing system, said: \"printing on the space station needs to incorporate orbital outposts into a unique category. \"The space station is actually an integrated environment for astronauts,\" he said . \" \"It looks like an enterprise environment in which you have the\" Company \"NASA to change the program on the ground and send the materials to be printed remotely, which we HP often do in \"This is obviously also an office and lab environment. You have astronauts doing research, printing reports, charts, other engineering and scientific documents. And then this is their home. \"Their family will send emails or photos,\" Stephens added . \". \"I think the challenge is that the space station is actually a combination of all the different types of market segments that the printer enters. It\'s all together. Hunter said: \"from the shelf, the print needs of astronauts may indeed be one, but if not, the printers they use will be better. When Epson 800 was put into use on the space station for the first time, many commercial printers did that, only printing. \"We want to continue using commercial advertising --the- Then modify it as we need it, \"Hunter said. \"But since you can no longer find a printer that only prints, we have to bring a full-in- A style printer and disable some of its features. \"No one sent a fax to the space station. While it might be nice to be able to scan and copy files on track, the printer parts needed to enable these files are a problem for NASA. \"We need to remove the glass from the printer because we have a safety problem if the glass is broken or broken. \"It also saves weight,\" Hunter said . \". After conducting market research on existing home and office printers, NASA found an HP model that could be modified as needed. \"They were interested in our OfficeJet 5740 printer and worked with us to find out the best way to replace the technology they currently have on the space station, Stephens told collectSPACE in an interview. Out-of-the-box office jet 5740 may work if hung on a wall or even ceiling on Earth. However, to print in a weightless environment, it needs to be modified. On planetTo, HP came up with a test and installation fixture to reverse the installation of office jet, landscape installation, 45-degree angles. \"In many directions, yes, the standard office aircraft can accommodate,\" Stephens said . \". \"The biggest challenge from scratch -- Paper management is the view of gravity. \"As it happens,the- The shelf 5740 comes standard with a small arm that lowers the paper that goes into the printer, and also a roller that lifts the top paper to feed it with a \"zero perfect design\" \"Gravity picks paper,\" Stephens said . \". Therefore, entering, you can maintain the position of the paper stack only by modifying it. But something that goes in must come out. \"You have to think about how to capture the paper in a weightless environment. \"If you don\'t have some kind of constraint, you end up shooting paper scraps from the printer,\" Hunt said . \". \"Obviously this is unacceptable,\" Stephens said . \". \"We use 3D printing and propose an output tray design that uses some flexible fingers to help redirect the direction of the paper when it comes out of the printer -- Basically to knock it down and simulate the action of gravity pulling paper. Then we have a unique packing arm that is able to grab and stop the paper and keep it in place. \"Due to weightlessness, there are other minor changes that have also been solved with printed parts. For example, the holder that moves the print head from one side to the other usually hangs on the rod. \"Here [on Earth] We rely on gravity to rotate it so that it hangs down in the right position. \"We realized that it would be a zero gravity challenge, so we used 3D printing to press it down and force it into the desired direction,\" Stephens said . \". [ How robotic arms in space inspire surgical techniques on Earth] Keep the ink inside and beyond nasa\'s requirements for an improved printer, not only because it needs to work in a weightless environment. It must also operate safely on the space station. For example, since the printers will be installed in areas where astronauts and astronauts may accidentally bump into them while floating in the module, it is impossible to have any sharp edges. Since fire prevention measures in orbit are critical, NASA requires new printers to be made with firesafe materials. So, HP re- All plastic parts of the printer molded with fire Flame Retardant Alternatives. Then ink. NASA earlier ruled out the possibility of launching a laser printer. The laser itself is considered a safety risk, the printer needs too much power, and the powder inside the drum will be a \"huge pollutant\" if the laser jet comes out \". Therefore, how to keep ink from the included inkjet printer becomes a problem. HP\'s OfficeJet cartridges do not rely on gravity to work. Unlike the example of a Space Pen, the space pen needs a pressurized ink cartridge instead of gravity. the HP printer ink cartridge uses heat to create bubbles inside the nozzle, that is, the bubble spews the ink out. \"To prevent the ink from flowing out of the print head, this series of inkjet printers use foam inside the print cartridge, the capillary force of the liquid in the foam gives the back pressure in our cartridges so that the ink does not ooze out, stephens explained. \"So we don\'t need to make any changes to the ink or ink cartridge to work properly. \"That doesn\'t mean, though, that ink drops sometimes don\'t come together inside the printer. On Earth, these drops drop and evaporate over time. But in space that doesn\'t drip into water drops, there is a problem with ink leakage in the printer. \"If the ink runs away, it can pollute the scientific payload and even pose a risk to the crew for food intake,\" Hunt said . \". This resulted in HP having to do \"quite a bit\" of work to redesign the inside of the printer, such as filling open areas with absorbent materials, Stephens said. \"We also used a special tape to cover all the seams of the shell parts, so that if, in unlikely cases, the ink would somehow flow out of the inside of the printer, it will not be able to enter the environment from the printer, \"he said. With all the changes in mind, the modified task \"nv \"-for- Orbital OfficeJet 5740 is different from off-the- There are only about 10% shelf printers. But it turns out that this is enough to guarantee a new name. HP borrowed another product line to name its space station printer \"hp envy iss. HP Envy ISS first released on SpaceX\'s CRS 14 Dragon cargo spacecraft is expected to be installed by the staff of the station to qualify for operation in May. \"We will deploy it as a technical demonstration before we make a full replacement,\" Hunt said . \". \"Based on the extensive testing we have done for this, I expect this printer to work perfectly. \"Assuming everything is OK, the envious ISS will replace two Epson printers --one in the U. S. And one in Russia. On the space station. NASA intends to use the enviable international space station at the end of the space station. ( At present, the partners of the station have agreed to extend to at least 2024 people. ) \"We bought 50 unmodified ones for the ground, right? off-the- \"Shelf printers provide our training areas and spare parts, and we have purchased 50 printers for flight modification,\" Hunt said . \" He pointed out that the quantity is based on the production operation of HP. \"We are very excited about this because it is the first new printer for the international space station since it came out 20 years ago,\" he said . \". As far as HP is concerned, it is ready to support the enviable ISS printer on the space station, which is called Mission NV \". \"Working closely with the NASA team is an explosion,\" Stephens said . \". \"This is definitely the most exciting project I \'ve been working on at HP for years. Check out the task patch for HP \"mission NV\" and the ISS printer for collectSPACE. Follow the collection space. Com on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2018 collection space. com. 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