CM – NASA tests 3D lunar dust printer on the International Space Station

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According to the agency, NASA’s latest replenishment mission Northrop Grumman Sygnus brought a 3D regolith printer to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Redwire Regolith Print (RRP) project, which essentially converts moon dust particles into solid materials will work in conjunction with an existing ISS printing system, ManD, to test Regolith’s 3D printing. When reviewed, the results could help determine the feasibility of regolith as a raw material and 3D printing as a construction technique for future space missions, according to the official ISS Research Twitter account.

Redwire Regolith Print is testing 3D printing with simulated Regolith (loose rock and earth on the surfaces of planetary bodies). The results could help determine the feasibility of regolith as a raw material and 3D printing as a construction technique for future space missions. pic.twitter.com/MIYq2z5smw

« The Redwire Regolith Print mission is an important step in demonstrating these advanced manufacturing processes and ultimately accelerating NASA’s exploration time to establish a permanent human presence on the moon, » said Michael Snyder, chief technology officer from Redwire, in a statement.

If the tests are successful, RRP could allow astronauts to print some of the ground-based habitats on demand, which could reduce the amount of construction equipment NASA would have to bring to the moon and Mars on future missions. The space agency has announced that it will continue to investigate the potential for 3D printed habitats on Mars.

In other space news, an asteroid named « Bennu » will come dangerously close to Earth in the 2100s.

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