Space life is difficult. Seriously. Imagine having to wait ages for something urgent to be sent to you in space. Also, imagine that something – as simple as a spoon, maybe? – costing NASA millions simply to blast into space and deliver to astronauts. Well, NASA have found a simple solution for this problem: a space-printer!
On the 23rd of March, a 3D printer will blasted up to the six crew-members of ISS, to make their difficult life on board the space craft that much easier. The space-printer will be used to print out spare parts, as well as for experimental purposes. This wouldn’t be the first manufacturing device NASA has tried; the first one has already been tried out by ISS. However, this printer will take the project to the next operational level.
Also, NASA is working on a bigger scale project; they hope to be able to assemble bigger structures in space by using similar technology to this space printer, saving themselves the hassle of blasting origami-like structured into space. These structures, which are currently being used, are folded up like origami, then pop out and constructed once in orbit.
So, since living in space requires a certain independence from Earth, this space-printer seems to be a milestone towards that goal!