Well, Rob, that's the idea behind some of the 3D printing methods NASA is investigating. We'll see if that becomes a reality. meanwhile, tools and replacement parts for astronauts is closer to becoming a reality.
Ann, I mentioned about data processing, modulation and printing at space stations. Normally astroneual datas are transmitting to the ground stations and it ill get processed through various tools/software and final printing.
Mydesign, can you clarify your statement and question? I notice your earlier comment mentions printing images, not objects. But the article is about 3D printing of actual tools, replacement parts and other items for astronauts. What type of information processing in ground stations do you mean?
"the point is to print stuff astronauts need while in space instead of the huge expense of shipping such items--tools, replacement parts, etc.--out to them. The cost of transport alone is one reason why humans haven't gotten to Mars yet."
Ann, thanks for the clarification. That a new info for me, so far I though all such information's are processed in ground station.
Greg, Made In Space was careful not to specify yet what materials they expect to use, but reading between the lines makes me think metals are being investigated, as well as local building materials such as NASA is investigating via other 3D printing space projects.
Deberah, the main reasons for printing stuff in space are transport time, as you pointed out, but also and even more important is the huge cost of fuel, as well as the use of complex expensive guidance systems, for the spacecraft that deliver those items.
Mydesign, the point is to print stuff astronauts need while in space instead of the huge expense of shipping such items--tools, replacement parts, etc.--out to them. The cost of transport alone is one reason why humans haven't gotten to Mars yet.
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