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Thread: NASA just e-mailed a wrench.

  1. #1

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    Default NASA just e-mailed a wrench.

    NASA Just Emailed A Wrench To The International Space Station

    For the first time ever, hardware designed on the ground has been emailed to space to meet the needs of an astronaut. From a computer in California, Mike Chen of Made In Space and colleagues just 3D-printed a ratcheting socket wrench on the International Space Station. “We had overheard ISS Commander Barry Wilmore (who goes by “Butch”) mention over the radio that he needed one,” Chen writes in Medium this week. So they designed one and sent it up.

    “The socket wrench we just manufactured is the first object we designed on the ground and sent digitally to space, on the fly,” he adds. It’s a lot faster to send data wirelessly on demand than to wait for a physical object to arrive via rockets, which can take months or even years.

    The team started by designing the tool on a computer, then converting it into a 3D-printer-ready format. That’s then sent to NASA, which transmits the wrench to the space station. Once the code is received by the 3D printer, the wrench is manufactured: Plastic filament is heated and extruded layer by layer. The ISS tweeted this photo earlier this week, and you can see more pictures of the very cool wrench-printing process here.

    Located on the campus of NASA’s Ames Research Center, Made In Space built the first 3D printer for microgravity, and it was launched to the ISS in September. Within a month, the astronauts 3D-printed their first object: a replacement faceplate for the printer’s casing (pictured below).


    NASA Just Emailed A Wrench To The International Space Station | IFLScience


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  3. #2

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    Wow that is awesome! They probably would have waited months to get a wrench in the next supply rocket or whatever (however that works). Great idea and I hope they continue to use this method for little things like that.

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  5. #3

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    Default Re: NASA just e-mailed a wrench.

    Pretty cool. The article in this mornings paper said if they had to send them the wrench it would be on the next supply run a few months away.
    May the force be with us.

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