Made-in-Space Parts Could Become Space Travel's New Norm
by Leonard David, SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist
Date: 19 July 2012 Time: 12:47 PM ET
Maybe it's time to shelve the old saying, "you can't leave home without it," when it comes to packing for trips to space.
Say you're hunkered down inside Mars Base-1 and a vital piece of life-support gear breaks down. A hurried search in supply bins proves futile. The next cycler spaceship with equipment is months away. Time is running out.
This disaster scenario could be short-circuited by what's tagged as "additive manufacturing" — a process to fabricate or 3D print a critical widget layer by layer. Using additive manufacturing equipment, items can be cranked out on the spot, whether they're made of hard plastics or certain metals.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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