The 3D Printer That Could Save an Astronaut's Life

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June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Mike Chen, chief scientific officer at Made in Space, discusses the benefits of 3D printing in space with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

Cofounder and chief executive officer of made in space.

Tell everyone about made in space and why you are sending a 3-d printer to the international space station.

These days, it is no mystery that it is difficult to get things to space.

We have astronauts up there on the space they should really for a very extended time.

A very big challenge to get things to them.

You have to send them on rockets that are very expensive, difficult to use.

We are going to be able to almost instantly put things in space, once we have the final down here, we can send it up, hit a button, and put things on the space station and a matter of minutes and hours.

There is a glovebox that you had to build and create in order to make all of this happened.

-- all of this happened.

It was not billed by us but something provided to us as a facility that is already on the space station.

This is called the microgravity science glovebox.

This is designed for technology experiments like ours where they can safely test new technologies before they can be used in there.

She and environment.

-- before they can be used in their space environment.

We are really looking forward to going up here and a matter of months.

Was there any special preparation for the 3-d printer to survive the trip into space?

Yes, there was a lot.

When we started the company, our original land is that we saw the benefit of having 3-d printing in space.

We did not think that we're going to create our own 3-d printers.

As soon as we started testing them, we realized that that wasn't going to work.

There was no printer out there that was fit for the job so we ended up designing our own printer completely from scratch that is able to withstand all of the loads we were going to put on it when it goes into space.

Are there any specific tools or parts that you can describe for us that you know will be made by this printer?

It will come in handy in so many different situations.

If you follow the 3-d printing, or it becomes common knowledge that whenever you have one, it is useful.

School, lab, 3-d printers are permeating.

At the end of the day, you don't know what you will need until you need it.

The ability to have it instantly is amazing.

Multiple will be familiar with the apollo 13 story where there was a sudden emergency and in order to save the crew's lives, they had to jury rig a solution where they had to scrape -- fit a square peg into a round hole.

If they had a 3-d rig like ours, they would have been able to fix the problem a lot faster and a lot more safely.

He had a friend of ours design a fix for the apollo situation and build it.

The crew uses some different tools, screwdrivers, wrenches, cable ties, containers for experiments.

The list goes on and on.

If you have ever been camping,

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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