nasa emails spanner to space station
D The printer makes the wrench according to the instructions sent in the email.
This is the first time the hardware has been sent to space by email.
NASA responded to a request from the international space station commander Barry Wilmore to provide a hook socket wrench.
In the past, if astronauts asked for a specific item, they might have to wait a few months to air on a regular supply flight.
Mike Chen, founder of Space Manufacturing, 3-
We overheard Barry Wilmore, commander of the International Space Station (
Whose name is \"Buch)
Mentioned on the radio that he needed one, so we designed one with CAD and sent it to him faster than the rocket.
\"Mr. Wilmore installed the printer on the International Space Station on November 17.
In November 25, he used the machine to make its first object, a replacement part for the printer.
Nasa says the ability will help astronauts become more self-contained.
It depends on long-term space missions in the future.
Mike Chen added: \"The socket wrench we just made was the first object we designed on the ground and was digitally sent to space in flight.
\"It also marks the end of our first experiment --
A sequence of 21 photographs that make up the first tool and object ever made on the Earth\'s surface.
\"The other 21 objects were designed before the 3D printer was shipped to the space station on the SpaceX Dragon supply flight on September.
Analysis: BBC Science Editor David Shukman if a 3D printer can produce something as useful as a tool in space, what\'s the possibility?
According to the company behind the printer, spare parts, components and even equipment are made in space.
This is just the beginning.
As one might expect from the vibrant Silicon Valley --
Up, vision is the mind-boggling.
It has plans to put a larger 3D manufacturing machine into orbit next year.
The ambition of NASA or other space agencies or companies is to send print orders to the International Space Station on a regular basis and produce a range of objects.
This will open the way not only for the international space station itself, but also for equipment deployed outside the International Space Station, such as satellites, to create hardware.
Looking ahead, the idea is becoming more radical.
Space manufacturing companies say they have been experimenting with possible raw materials for their printers, including a substance similar to lunar soil.
So in theory, a 3D printer sent to the moon may be able to dig the surface of the Moon, dig the so-called lunar soil, and convert it into the elements needed for the moon base.
It is clear that this prospect is very far away.
Currently, astronauts on the International Space Station are happy to know that if they need a new wrench, they can make a wrench in less than an hour.