tough new 3d printing plastic lets astronauts print spacewalk tools on demand
Normal operation requires a series of specialized tools, and between unforeseen error features and regular hardware upgrades, it is often difficult to predict what tools the team needs in a given task.
In addition to that, sending objects into space is also very expensive, so in recent years NASA has been exploring the idea of using 3D printing tools in orbit.
Last year, astronauts from the international space station used the first 3D printing tool in space, making headlines.
But there is no limit to this tool.
Due to the extremely poor vacuum conditions in space, NASA\'s 3D printing tool is largely limited to the internal use of the space station.
But now, there is another big leap in this technology.
Space 3D printing startups have reportedly developed a new material that can be used not only inside the International Space Station, but also in harsh space vacuum.
Made of polyester/polycarbonate (known asPEI/PC)—
It is several times stronger than the traditional plastic currently printed on the International Space Station. “In a vacuum, [PEI/PC]
Will not go 【emit particles]
It is anti-UV environment, anti-atomic oxygen, so it can be actually used in space, \"explains Matt Naples, vice president of space.
This sturdy plastic can be used not only to print stronger tools, but also to make spare parts for the International Space Station.
In the future, space manufacturing intends to use the International Space Station as-situ.
The company is currently testing a 3D printer, Archinaut, which can operate completely out of the station.
The system will be launched on 2018 to the International Space Station and can be used to make the first 3D printed satellite ever made in orbit.