Made in Space Selected for Two NASA SBIR Phase II Awards

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.”

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ICESat-2 to Use Unique 3D Printed Parts

This image shows the ATLAS instrument inside a Goddard cleanroom where the instrument was assembled. (Credits: NASA/D. McCallum)
This image shows the ATLAS instrument inside a Goddard cleanroom where the instrument was assembled. (Credits: NASA/D. McCallum)

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.

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Magna Parva Launches In-Space Manufacturing Website

Magna_Parva_logoLEICESTER, 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.

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PISCES Signs MOUs with Honeybee Robotics, Made in Space

PISCESHILO, 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.

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PISCES Looks to Print Space Tools from Hawaii’s Lava Rocks

RepRap v.2 'Mendel' open-source FDM 3D printer. Credit: CharlesC
RepRap v.2 ‘Mendel’ open-source FDM 3D printer. Credit: CharlesC

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.

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Made in Space 3-D Printer Headed for International Space Station

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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.

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Will Future Space Food Use 3-D Printing?

Expedition 26 and STS-133 crew members share a meal in the Unity node of the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Expedition 26 and STS-133 crew members share a meal in the Unity node of the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

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.

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3-D Printing Makes Its Mark in NASA’s New Engine

A pogo z-baffle for an RS-25 engine, built using state-of-the-art Selective Laser Melting, is inspected with a structured light scan. The part was created at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., which also manages the agency's Space Launch System, or SLS, which will use RS-25s to reach beyond low-Earth orbit. (Credit: NASA/MSFC)
A pogo z-baffle for an RS-25 engine, built using state-of-the-art Selective Laser Melting, is inspected with a structured light scan. The part was created at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., which also manages the agency’s Space Launch System, or SLS, which will use RS-25s to reach beyond low-Earth orbit. (Credit: NASA/MSFC)

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.

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DIYROCKETS and Sunglass Announce 3D Printed Rocket Engine Design Competition

DIYROCKET_competitionSan 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.

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Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Parts With Lunar Simulant


PULLMAN, Wash. (WSU PR) —
Imagine landing on the moon or Mars, putting rocks through a 3-D printer and making something useful – like a needed wrench or replacement part.

“It sounds like science fiction, but now it’s really possible,” says Amit Bandyopadhyay, professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University.

Bandyopadhyay and a group of colleagues recently published a paper in Rapid Prototyping Journal demonstrating how to print parts using materials from the moon.

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Why Ship Parts to Space When You Can Make Them There?

International Space Station

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.

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SSI Space Manufacturing Conference: International, Legal and Economic Issues

International, Legal and Economic Considerations
Chairman: Brad Blair

“Mining Law and Property Rights for Outer Space”
Wayne White, Oceaneering Space Systems

“Economic Incentives and Tax Credits for Space Resource Development”
Eva Jane Lark, BMO Nesbitt Burns

“The ILO as Property Rights Agent”
Steve Durst, International Lunar Observatory Association and Space Age Publishing Company

“3D Metal Printing in Space: Enabling New Markets and Accelerating the Growth of Orbital Infrastructure”
Jason Dunn, Aaron Kemmer, Michael Chen, David Hutchinson and Brad Blair — Made in Space
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