NASA Image Of The Day

International Space Station?s 3-D Printer
NASA Image Of The Day
The International Space Station?s 3-D printer has manufactured the first 3-D printed object in space, paving the way to future long-term space expeditions. The object, a printhead faceplate, is engraved with names of the organizations that collaborated on this space station technology demonstration: NASA and Made In Space, Inc., the space manufacturing company that worked with NASA to design, build and test the 3-D printer. This image of the printer, with the Microgravity Science Glovebox Engineering Unit in the background, was taken in April 2014 during flight certification and acceptance testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, prior to its launch to the station aboard a SpaceX commercial resupply mission. The first objects built in space will be returned to Earth in 2015 for detailed analysis and comparison to the identical ground control samples made on the flight printer prior to launch. The goal of this analysis is to verify that the 3-D printing process works the same in microgravity as it does on Earth. The printer works by extruding heated plastic, which then builds layer upon layer to create three-dimensional objects. Testing this on the station is the first step toward creating a working "machine shop" in space. This capability may decrease cost and risk on the station, which will be critical when space explorers venture far from Earth and will create an on-demand supply chain for needed tools and parts. Long-term missions would benefit greatly from onboard manufacturing capabilities. Data and experience gathered in this demonstration will improve future 3-D manufacturing technology and equipment for the space program, allowing a greater degree of autonomy and flexibility for astronauts. Image Credit: NASA/Emmett Given...
26 Nov 2014
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2 Expedition 42 - Space Station Live - November 25 Administrator 105
3 Expedition 42 - Space Station Live - November 24 Administrator 107
4 Expedition 42/43 - Soyuz TMA-15M Hatch Opening and Other Activities Administrator 301
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8 Expedition 42/43 - Soyuz TMA-15M Pre-launch Activities Administrator 151
9 Expedition 42/43 - Pre-Launch Crew News Conference Administrator 185
10 The STS-125 Crew, from SMA-4 -- the Last Mission to Hubble at the Intrepid Museum in New York Administrator 160
11 Expedition 42/43 - Soyuz TMA-15M Spacecraft Rollout to the Launch Pad Administrator 164
12 Expedition 42/43 - Crew Activities and Soyuz TMA-15M Spacecraft Encapsulation and Mating Administrator 194
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14 Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Presentation - “STEM in 30: Vacuum Packed, Space Food” Administrator 78
15 Expedition 42/43 - Crew Activities in Baikonur, Kazakhstan Administrator 138
16 Expedition 42/43 - Crew Departure from Star City, Russia for Baikonur, Kazakhstan Administrator 109
17 Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum presentation “Countdown to Launch” Administrator 119
18 Expedition 41 - Space Station Live - November 19 Administrator 89
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23 Expedition 41 - Space Station Live - November 10 Administrator 177
24 Expedition 41 - Soyuz TMA-13M Landing Replay Administrator 359
25 Expedition 41 - Soyuz TMA-13M Landing Administrator 367
26 Expedition 41 - Soyuz TMA-13M Undocking Administrator 277
27 Expedition 41 - Farewells and Hatch Closure Administrator 305
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29 Expedition 42/43 - Crew News Conference at Star City, Russia Administrator 283
30 Orion First Flight Pre-Mission Briefing Administrator 330
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32 Expedition 41 - Space Station Live - November 6 Administrator 89
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34 Expedition 41 - Space Station Live - November 4 Administrator 87
35 Expedition 41 - Space Station Live - November 3 Administrator 67
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39 Expedition 41 - Space Station Live - October 29 Administrator 126
40 Expedition 41 - Progress M-25M/57 Docking Administrator 202
41 Expedition 41 - Progress M-25M/57 Launch Administrator 180
42 NASA News Conference on Orbital Mishap Administrator 324
43 Orbital Sciences/Cygnus CRS-3 Launch Administrator 611
44 Expedition 41 - Space Station Live - October 28 Administrator 83
45 Video B-Roll of Orbital Sciences/Cygnus CRS-3 Processing Administrator 171
46 Expedition 41 - Space Station Live - October 27 Administrator 73
47 Expedition 41 - Progress M-24M/56 Undocking Administrator 148
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49 Orbital CRS-3 Prelaunch News Conference Administrator 122
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