Made In Space Wins NASA Contract for New Vulcan Material Printer

first_img NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendScientists Discover Possible Interstellar Visitor Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. You may not have heard of Made in Space, but the company has been making significant inroads into the science of constructing new things, well in space. Previously, the start-up had managed to get two 3D printers brought aboard the ISS for testing and manufacturing. But now firm is celebrating a new contract with NASA for its “next-gen” Vulcan system. Vulcan is built to build, obviously. But what makes it special is the diversity of materials it can use, and the flexibility that will afford space-goers. Vulcan can, for instance, use metals as well as the standard polymers often employed in 3D printing. “The Vulcan hybrid manufacturing system allows for flexible augmentation and creation of metallic components on demand with high precision,” Made In Space chief engineer Mike Snyder told Space.com. “Vulcan is an efficient, safe capability that utilizes the minimum amount of resources during manufacturing processes.”This contract will help ensure that, once completed, Vulcan will have a home on the ISS. And that’s particularly important as humanity is gearing up for more deep space trips — particularly to Mars.Having massive stretches of nothingness separating our intrepid explorers and their homes, means that any emergency gear will either have to be packed ahead of manufactured on-site. Pioneering these types of technologies will allow future explorers to cut down on the materials they’ll need to bring along — and that saves cost, energy, and potentially lives.“Vulcan can be important to logistical reduction necessary for long-term exploration,” Snyder said. “The hybrid manufacturing system is a major step forward for efficient space operations, providing the ability to build essential components and assemblies in the space environment, where flying spare parts from Earth is otherwise not viable.”According to Space.com, Vulcan will be able to use literally dozens of different materials in an integrated printing process. In essence, it should have the ability to print remarkable small machines and components out of all different kinds of materials with precision and speed never before seen. All with robotics. In space. Made in Space is also working on similar larger-scale projects, like its Archinaut, which should be able to build new spacecraft parts using a robotic arm and 3D printer. For now, we watch and wait in amazement. Some days, I swear, if it weren’t for scientists doing awesome stuff, there wouldn’t be any good news.center_img Stay on targetlast_img

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