According to European Space Agency, ESA, “Could astronauts one day be printing rather than building a base on the Moon? In 2013 ESA, working with industrial partners, proved that 3D printing using lunar material was feasible in principle. Since then, work continues to investigate the technique. The shielding against radiation provided by a 3D-printed block of simulated lunar regolith was measured, providing important inputs for next-stage designs.”
According to ESA(Now),” astronaut Luca Parmitano has arrived on the International Space Station following a six-hour flight in the Russian Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft alongside NASA astronaut Drew Morgan and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.”
Four years ago
This is all good, except the “3d printing material” should be the regolith itself melted by focused solar energy. This way, the printers could print an inexhaustible™ supply of infrastructure from roads to sinks to rail-launch systems. You would want one specialized printer to print things that can’t be made from regolith. (control circuits, actuators, etc.)
I hope NASA and ESA team up to explore the rest of our solar system and beyond.
Three Years ago
Excellent, would be able to put an observatory on the moon and make it a refuel station for further travel and a backup for rescue if needed also can make a shipbuilding/repair station safer so launches don’t have to fight the gravity and atmosphere burn up, can also make a relay station put a full array of satellites on the moon.
It would be simpler and cheaper to ship high explosives to the moon and use them to excavate a cylindrical chamber into the side of a large crater (like building a tunnel on Earth) and then seal off the end, pressurize, and occupy. Much roomier, more protection from radiation and meteor impacts. This 3-D printer idea is dull and uninspiring.
This is potentially great news. I hope one day we can live in space or on the moon.
2019: HASSEL wants to print a 3D Mars base.
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