Tags: NASA | Mars | colonization | 3-D printing

NASA Eyes 3-D Printing Technology for Mars Colonization

By    |   Monday, 13 Apr 2015 02:59 PM

A NASA research team is working on sorting out a potential problem should humans ever colonize Mars: how to build a house on a planet where the only available material is lunar dust and sand, reports The Wall Street Journal.

"You need this type of technology if you are going to settle other worlds," said Aaron Kemmer, CEO of Made In Space Inc., a California-based company currently developing space-based printing technology.

Led by Niki Werkheiser, the engineering team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center may have found the solution in 3-D printing. The Journal reports their plan would be to construct airtight buildings and radiation-proof shelter bricks made out of sand from the surface of Mars.

"It was pretty messy at first. It is like printing with powdered sugar," Michael Snyder, the company's lead engineer, told the Journal.

The possibility of building a home from sand and 3-D technology is not such an out-of-this-world idea.

In 2014, NASA conducted a successful test of a complex rocket engine injector designed by the agency and made via 3-D printing, according to a NASA press release.

The injector, which is the part that sends propellant into the engine, was constructed by placing the design into the 3-D printer's computer and then building each part by "layering metal powder and fusing it together with a laser, a process known as selective laser melting."

WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co., a company based in Shanghai, China, has claimed to have built a five-story apartment building using a 3-D printer to mix ground construction and industrial waste, according to C-NET.

Three-dimensional printing technology has advanced rapidly in the last decade, and has been used in a multitude of applications, from prosthetic limbs to retrofitting military vehicles.

The emergence of 3-D printing also has led to cost savings for the government while creating new opportunities for workers.

"Literally, there are things you can make with this technology that you could never ever make before. It really opens up your mind about different ways to solve problems," Doug Wagoner, of Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), a Virginia-based government contractor that has used 3-D printing technology to retrofit Gulf War-era equipment that would otherwise be unusable, told the Post and Courier.

SAIC, which also works with private companies, recently hired 220 workers at its site in North Charleston, South Carolina, and is continuing to hire at the rate of 20 people per month, according to the newspaper.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
SciTech
A NASA research team is working on sorting out a potential problem should humans ever colonize Mars: how to build a house on a planet where the only available material is lunar dust and sand, reports The Wall Street Journal.
NASA, Mars, colonization, 3-D printing
411
2015-59-13
Monday, 13 Apr 2015 02:59 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved