NASA Capsule Returns to Earth, Carries 3D Printed Parts from Space
Staff posted on February 13, 2015 |
NASA's Dragon capsule has returned from the ISS chock full of 3D printed parts. Now they're off for ...

3D printing, space, ISS, 3d printer SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean Tuesday with nearly 3,700 pounds of NASA cargo, including many first-of-their-kind 3D printing samples from the International Space Station.

The Dragon spacecraft will be taken by ship to Long Beach, where some cargo will be removed and returned to NASA. Dragon will then be prepared for a return trip to SpaceX's test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing.

"The ability to resupply and return this critical research continues to be an invaluable asset for the researchers here on Earth using the International Space Station as their laboratory in orbit," said Kirt Costello, deputy chief scientist for the International Space Station Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Among the returned investigations were printed parts and hardware from the first technology demonstration of 3-D printing in space. The 3-D printer demonstration used relatively low-temperature plastic feedstock on the space station. The test phase ended with a printed ratchet wrench made with a design file transmitted from Earth to the printer.

"Experiments like 3-D printing in space demonstrate important capabilities that allow NASA and humanity to proceed farther on the journey to Mars,” Costello said. “Other investigations such as those focused on protein crystal growth take advantage of the unique microgravity environment and offer us new avenues to investigate troubling diseases back on Earth."

Source: NASA

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