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3D printing is to play a key role in AMADEE-18, a month-long simulated field mission to Mars led by the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) with the support of the Sultanate of Oman.
The mock-Mars mission will see scientists from 25 nations travel to Dhofar, a barren region of Oman sharing many geological surface features with Mars. There they will live in isolation and conduct 19 different experiments including space suit testing, sub-surface characterization and 3D printing essential operational tools.
Dhofar - Region - Oman - Project - Place
The Dhofar region in Oman, where the project will take place. Photo via OeWF.
The importance of 3D printing in space has been acknowledged by likes of Dr Douglas Terrier, Acting Chief Technologist at NASA. He explained last year to 3D Printing Industry that spare parts are the largest consumable taken into space since there is no other way to obtain them.
On-demand - Space - Need - Parts - Mission
3D printing on-demand in space will eliminate the need to take as many spare parts on a mission, thereby cutting the costs associated with additional weight and extra fuel.
Other important extra-terrestrial applications of 3D printing include the Mars habitat challenges. These require teams to combine robotics and 3D printing to build structures using materials only available on the red planet’s surface, and are sponsored by NASA and the European Space Agency.
João - Lousada - Right - Printing - Rest
João Lousada, 2nd from right, learns about 3D printing with the rest of the Analog Astronauts. Photo via...
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