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Astronauts can 3D print with Mars-Earth tools

Astronauts can 3D print with Mars-Earth tools

Turns out, Mars is a goldmine. It doesn’t necessarily mean it has real gold, but it has a structure that researchers believe you can 3D print quite well. This means that people who will land on Mars soon (or in many years’ time), will just have to take a 3D printer with them instead of all kinds of tools. They simply print those instruments on the spot using the red soil that can be found in abundance on Mars.

3D printing tools

In addition to tools, astronauts can also print parts, for example, so that they can create the solution themselves in case of problems. So no Mars-like scenes needed. Researcher Amit Bandyopadhyay from Washington State University He says, “Once we’re on our way to Mars, we can’t go back and pick up something we’ve forgotten. A 3D printer can ensure that something can still be made.”

The researchers were able to reach their conclusion by searching for the Martian regolith with titanium. Titanium plays an important role, as it is heat resistant and therefore ideal for space. Two mixtures were made: one containing only chandeliers (fake type, that is) and the other containing only five percent opal. These mixtures were heated to 2000 degrees using a laser and turned into specific shapes. The strength and durability of a mixture with a lot of titanium was a little stronger: regolith turns out to be a little brittle once it cools. However, it can also work well, as a protective layer against rust.

the burial

This alternative with 5 percent regolith and more titanium was much stronger: it’s precisely this combination with regolith that creates a stronger and better material than if you were to only use titanium. Now it’s up to the researchers to continue mixing and figure out the perfect mixture to create materials on the red planet itself. In addition, a good 3D printer must also be developed to take with us when we truly set foot as human beings on this fickle planet.

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This will take some time though. Although Elon Musk often talks about it, it will likely be another ten years before we get close to the goal of the first astronaut on the Red Planet. Maybe it won’t be American either: China hopes to get to the planet first. However, it is quite a journey: at the moment, the trip to Mars takes from six to nine months, and the question is also how the human body will deal with it.

3D printer

But when the time comes, this 3D printer looks like a godsend. Mars can save a lot of money: it is very expensive to transport equipment into space. In addition, the weather saves space in the ship, so that something else can be taken with you. It seems that transporting one kilogram of cargo from Earth to space costs 50 thousand euros. As you can see, the “ordinary red soil” is in secret a goldmine.

Laura Jenny

When she’s not writing, she’s traveling around the great world of entertainment or a great place in the real world. Mario is the man of her life…