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3-D printing could be a game-changer for space travel, allowing astronauts to create supplies and replacement parts on the fly.
"Imagine an astronaut needing to make a life-or-death repair on the International Space Station," said Aaron Kemmer, CEO of Made in Space. "Rather than hoping that the necessary parts and tools are on the station already, what if the parts could be 3-D printed when they needed them?"
"We're going to build a Death Star," he joked softly, referring to the giant space station in the "Star Wars" movies that could blow up planets. "Then it's all going to be over."
NASA is studying a technology known as "3D-Printable spacecraft", which is one of 30 potentially revolutionary technologies NASA is working on. The idea is to collect science data by embedded electronic devices.
A Moon base. Architecture firm Foster + Partners have paired with The European Space Agency to investigate the possibility of a 3D printed moon habitat. The material used in the printing process would be moon dust and soil that would be layered to form a building block, not unlike concrete. This method would save us from the challenge of transporting raw building materials.