Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)

ISS astronauts have been making use of the 3D printer in space to make all kinds of tools for the people up there.


(Space tools made on board the ISS)

Due to the extremely harsh conditions in the vacuum of space, NASAs 3D printed tools have largely been limited to use within the station itself. But now, the technology is set for another giant leap. 3D printing startup Made in Space has reportedly developed a new material that can be used not only inside the ISS itself, but also in the harsh vacuum of space.

The new material made from polyetherimide/polycarbonate (known as PEI/PC) is several times stronger than traditional plastics currently printed on the ISS.

When you think about it, it's a handy idea, and much better than the usual approach, which is to think as hard as you can while still on the ground, make the tools, and then send them up.

Now, as long as we keep sending the ISS the raw materials, they can make and modify tools on the spot!

In their excellent 1974 novel Mote in God's Eye, science fiction writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle described highly intelligent aliens who did everything on the fly, making necessary tools as they went. Sometimes they used a metal paste which could be reused many times.

"Now the alien's making something. I don't understand what's keeping it... It's got the cover off the control panel. It's rewiring things. A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry. I'm only telling you what it looks like, of course..."

[The alien Engineer comes aboard the human ship.]

"Captain!" A streamer of blue light glowed at the stern of the alien craft... "Yon ship's underway, Captain," Sinclair reported...

"That thing's on autopilot, would you both agree? But we didn't see him program it."

"We saw him practically rebuild the controls, Captan," Cargill said. "My Lord! Do you think that's how they control..."

"Seems verra inefficient, but the beastie did nae else that could hae been the programming of an autopilot," Sinclair mused. "And twas bloody quick about it, sir. Captain, do ye think it built an autopilot?"

Via Digital Trends.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/10/2017)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.' - Nat Schachner, 1937.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'- Otto Willi Gail, 1929.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.