REDMOND, Wa. (Planetary Resources PR) — The future of space colonization and industrialization can now be visualized.
Planetary Resources, in collaboration with our partner 3D Systems, have developed the first ever direct metal print from asteroid metals. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today in Las Vegas, NV., we unveiled the geometric object on the Engadget stage.
This spacecraft prototype was 3D printed from actual an asteroid that was, pulverized, powdered and processed on the new 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) ProX DMP 320 metals 3D printer. It is the first part ever 3D Printed with material from outer space and is reminiscent of a design that could originate from a 3D printer in the zero-gravity environment of space.
The asteroid (or meteorite) used for the print materials was sourced from the Campo Del Cielo impact near Argentina, and is composed of iron, nickel and cobalt – similar materials to refinery grade steel.
Averting Armageddon via asteroid Commentary – Douglas MacKinnon Baltimore Sun
Make no mistake: We had no clue that 2009 DD45 was out there or that it was basically on a years-in-the-making possible collision course with our planet. None. While this close shave raises many questions, two immediate ones come to mind.
A Mars Odysseyblog has an intriguing post on a possible mission by NASA to send a team of astronauts to asteroid 2000SG344 – which will pass near the Earth in 2030.
The plan involves sending astronauts for a six-month round trip to the giant space rock. They would spend a several weeks on the surface, conducting experiments and testing out new technologies.
Clearly, this mission lies beyond NASA’s plans to land humans back on the moon by 2020. However, it could be a stepping stone to a longer Mars mission. The mission also would help us better understand the composition of asteroids, which could make it easier to deflect one that is on a collision course with Earth.