When it was a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship Arrival at the International Space Station (ISS) This week I picked up a very special device on Earth: a 3D printer that uses moon dust to make a solid.
NASA is testing Redwire’s printing system for use in upcoming Artemis lunar missions, in hopes of using dusty lunar soil (technically known as Regolith) as the raw material for printing. The idea is to use the materials readily available on the moon to do whatever it takes rather than having to move a bunch of heavy equipment from Earth.
Engineers thought about how to do it 3D printing with lunar regolith For a while, they showed the process on the ground. But sending a 3D printer to the microgravity environment of the International Space Station for testing is another important step in preparing the technology for use. Researchers want to know if the print works without gravity and how strong the print is.
The printer works with a lunar simulation – an artificial compound of a substance chemically similar to lunar regolith – because real moon samples are so precious and rare. But the simulator must be close enough to the real lunar material to test the 3D printed devices. The activator is used as a raw material, processed and fed into a printer to be printed into usable parts and molds.
thread To say In addition to using small devices and accessories, this approach could eventually be used to print larger, more complex parts such as landing pads, foundations, roads, and even lunar habitats for astronauts to live on. inside.
And the effects can also extend beyond Earth’s gravity. Nasa To say They are developing the technology in hopes that it will eventually be used on other planets, such as manned flights to Mars, which could take advantage of the dusty ground of Mars. 3D printing of complete constructions.
“Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff.”