“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Since that phrase was uttered,
Mankind has taken several steps o the moon and a couple of giant leaps in space technology.
Nasa engineers have taken a couple more steps in using technology that can build materials on space missions.
If humanity wants to build a colony in space, building structures with readily available materials would be far cheaper than having to launch materials to space.
Created by NASA, The Redwire’s 3D printer or RRP which makes use of regolith for online construction of lunar structures has been taken to the international space station for the on-demand construction of a lunar structure.
This is where 3D printing or additive manufacturing comes in.
Already the technology prints huge swathes of materials of almost every physical shape,
including metals, plastics,
some of which are made into space-grade equipment.
There’s no need for moving materials into space when you can print it right there and then,
constructing a lunar base from available regolith is more feasible.
NASA’s RRP (Redwire 3D printer) is designed to make use of regolith including dust, debris and other materials found on alien planets for the on-demand building of lunar structures
According to NASA the main aim of the project is to demonstrate the manufacturing potential in microgravity.
regarding the regolith based printing in low gravity to further space missions :
The technology could in the future be used to construct habitats, landing pads and other complexes for future space missions using on-site materials rather than having to launch materials into space.
3D printing has made a lot of bounds in a couple of years, from simulating mars’ environment to edibles.
As humans gradually go on more long term space missions,
there is a need for a permanent base off-world,
Redwire printing technology provides a solution to this
This technology will eventually lead to sustainable manufacturing potential for lunar missions,
that will lead to a permanent human presence off-planet by using readily available resources.