Made in Space will continue to pursue the development of advanced glass alloys and 3-D manufactured structures for space interferometry missions under a pair of contract awards from NASA.
The space agency selected the additive-manufacturing company for awards under phase II of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The contracts are worth a maximum of $750,000 apiece for up to two years.
“The next step in the industrialization of LEO is the formulation of base materials, such as specialty glasses, that can be refined into higher value products in microgravity,” the company said in a summary of its proposal. “The Glass Alloy Manufacturing Machine (GAMMA) is an experimental system designed to investigate how these materials form without the effects of gravity-induced flows and inform process improvements for commercial product development.”
GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA’s follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won’t be the only first for this mission.
Slated for launch in 2018, NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) also will carry a 3-D printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), a material that has never been used in 3-D manufacturing, let alone flown in space.
LEICESTER, England (Magna Parva PR) — We have launched a dedicated In-Space Manufacturing microsite, please visit it here (opens new tab)
Magna Parva has produced a prototype in-orbit manufacturing system that should provide a method of producing huge carbon composite 3D structures in space. A prototype COPMA system has been successfully built and tested under ‘near space’ conditions at Magna Parva’s Leicester development facility. It demonstrates the potential for the production of assemblies, equipment or even buildings from fully cured and consolidated carbon fibre materials, potentially miles in length.
HILO, Hawaii (PISCES PR) — The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) is excited to announce that it has expanded its list of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s) to eleven, after officially partnering with Honeybee Robotics and Made In Space. PISCES will partner with the companies on the Center’s 3D laser printing projects.
The signing took place at the PISCES Board of Director’s meeting on October 6th in Honolulu – the day before the Hawaii Aerospace Summit.
PISCES — the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems — is looking to develop 3-D printing capability for use on the moon under a new cooperative agreement with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), according to Executive Director Rob Kelso.
Kelso said PISCES is seeking to develop printing technology that can make use of the island’s lava rock, which is similar to rock on the moon and Mars.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Made in Space PR) — The first 3D printer bound for space passed a series of critical microgravity tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Made in Space, the space manufacturing company, conducted examinations of their proprietary 3D printer technology during four microgravity flights lasting two hours each, simulating conditions found on the ISS.
The printer, as part of the 3D Print Experiment in coordination with NASA, is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014.
NASA and a Texas company are exploring the possibility of using a “3D printer” on deep space missions in a way where the “D” would stand for dining.
NASA has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to Systems and Materials Research Consultancy of Austin, Texas to study the feasibility of using additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, for making food in space.
By Bill Hubscher NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
The latest in cutting-edge manufacturing is already making a significant impact in the future of space exploration.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., the prime contractor for the J-2X engine, recently used an advanced 3-D printing process called Selective Laser Melting, or SLM, to create an exhaust port cover for the engine. SLM uses lasers to fuse metal dust into a specific pattern to build the cover, which is essentially a maintenance hatch for the engine’s turbo pumps.
San Francisco, March 8, 2013 (DIYROCKETS/Sunglass PR) – Today DIYROCKETS and Sunglass are announcing a partnership to launch the world’s first open source competition to create 3D printed rocket engines through collaborative design.
The competition opens for registration at South By Southwest (SXSW) on March 9, and challenges makers, designers and space entrepreneurs to create open source rocket engines that will serve the growing market for small payload delivery into low earth orbit and ultimately, disrupt the space transportation industry.
Made in Space, a company formed out of the most recent Singularity University summer session, is getting a bit of publicity on its efforts to send a 3-D printer to the International Space Station. Space.com reports:
Three-dimensional printers make objects by sequentially depositing thin layers of “feedstock,” which can be metal, plastic or a variety of other materials.
Printing out parts in space would save a great deal of time and money, according to Made in Space. And the technology could eventually be transplanted to other worlds such as the moon, where it could help human colonies gain a foothold by printing out robot parts or buildings, piece by piece.