NASA to send first 3D printer into space station

NASA is all set to send the fourth SpaceX cargo mission, that would carry among other equipments a 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Sep 20.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 14, 2014, 18:26 PM IST

Washington: NASA is all set to send the fourth SpaceX cargo mission, that would carry among other equipments a 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Sep 20.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp' (SpaceX) Falcon-9 rocket will launch a Dragon cargo spacecraft loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of scientific equipment and supplies, the US space agency said in a statement.

"The Dragon spacecraft will carry Special Purpose Inexpensive Satellite (SpinSat) to test how a small satellite moves and positions itself in space using a new thruster technology and the first 3D printer in space," NASA said.

It will also carry a small flowering plant related to cabbage that would allow scientists to study plant growth and adaptations in space.

It will be the fifth trip by a Dragon spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory.

The spacecraft's 2.5 tonnes of supplies and materials are critical for the implementation of 255 science and research investigations that will occur during the station's Expeditions 41 and 42.

Besides, the spacecraft will carry science payloads like the ISS-Rapid Scatterometer to monitor ocean surface wind speed and direction.

The new bio-medical hardware on board will help facilitate prolonged biological studies of rodents in microgravity, the US space agency added.