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Could spacecraft build themselves ?

Posted on Monday, 17 September, 2012 | Comment icon 7 comments

Image credit: NASA

NASA is exploring the possibility of using 3D printing technology to help build spacecraft.

NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program has awarded $100,000 to the "SpiderFab" project which aims to develop ideas for a spacecraft that could build parts of itself using materials salvaged from space debris or asteroids. The technology could one day allow large space projects to be built in orbit instead of having to fold them up to fit inside a rocket for launch from the ground.

"We'd like someday to be able to have a spacecraft create itself entirely from scratch, but realistically that's quite a ways out," said Tethers Unlimited Inc. CEO Robert Hoyt. "That's still science fiction."

"Using 3-D printers to build spacecraft parts in orbit would offer an easier way to construct huge space antennas or space telescope components 10 or 20 times larger than today's counterparts."

  View: Full article

 Source: NBC News

  Discuss: View comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hybrid89 on 17 September, 2012, 13:43
Comment icon #2 Posted by Mr Right Wing on 17 September, 2012, 13:45
cool cool We can already print 3d objects Its only a matter of time before we are printing houses, spaceships and people.
Comment icon #3 Posted by TheMolePatrol on 17 September, 2012, 18:27
Awesome to see money being invested in this. The Moon might even be a good place to set up self-building colonies. I think I saw something like that where they want to use soil on the Moon as a building material for construction.
Comment icon #4 Posted by bigjonalien on 17 September, 2012, 23:48
so glad science fiction is advancing, gives hope to the future of technology.
Comment icon #5 Posted by R4z3rsPar4d0x on 17 September, 2012, 23:48
Comment icon #6 Posted by mysticwerewolf on 18 September, 2012, 0:09
once they get nanotechnology figured out that is how they will build them, nanobots go up and build robots that build space ships that we then send up populations for. at least that is what i think will happen, but that is some time in the future yet.
Comment icon #7 Posted by nohands on 23 September, 2012, 13:15
nice one maybe we are not far from the transformers era...comming soon!!

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