NASA, SpaceX, and CNSA are all working to send astronauts to Mars before 2040.
If humans are to explore Mars before the mid-twentieth century, we must bring other technologies with us to sustain humanity on the red planet.
However, funding the transportation costs for every item delivered to Mars will come at a cost. However, space agencies are considering using 3D printing technology to ensure that astronauts meet their mission requirements in Mars’ hostile environment.
According to a recent study, Mars soil will be used for 3D printing on the red planet.
How Will Astronauts Use Mars Soil For 3D Printing On Mars?
Amit Bandyopadhyay, a professor at Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and his research team recently conducted several tests with simulated crushed Martian regolith to demonstrate that it could be used as 3D printing material on Mars. This recent discovery has made the future of crewed exploration on Mars more intriguing than ever.
“3D printing in space is something that has to happen if we want to think about manned missions because we really cannot carry everything from here,” Bandyopadhyay said. “And if we forget something, we won’t be able to get it back.”
Based on the success of this experiment, Martian Astronauts will use 3D printing technology to create more tools and exploration materials on Mars.
Space agencies will save money on logistics for crewed missions to Mars if they can use abundant Mars regolith as 3D printing material.
Remember that the average distance between our planet and Mars is approximately 140 million miles (225 million km). Transporting cargo to Mars will be prohibitively expensive for any space agency due to the great distance involved. However, 3D printing technology will drastically reduce this cost.
What Can 3D Printing Technology Recreate on Mars?
Several scientific studies have shown that 3D printing technology can enable the construction of Mars colonies in the near future. Astronauts on Mars can use 3D printers to develop the following technologies.
Domes of Mars Mars is a hostile planet. If we must be cautious, we must devise highly protective domes to protect our astronauts. Space agencies are considering sending inflatable domes to Mars.
However, with this latest discovery, space agencies may consider using 3D printers and Mars regolith as the printing material to construct Martian habitats.
Working tools. Astronauts will see the need to replace their working tools from time to time. Instead of requesting a new set of tools from Earth, they can use 3d printers to recreate tools to continue exploring the Mars surface.
Other items. Mars Astronauts will need to print several items to meet their day-to-day operations on Mars. These items can include worn-out machine parts and other technologies.
If we are to use 3D printers on Mars, we must first master their use on Earth. Many space agencies are currently experimenting with 3D printing technology to see how it can be used in new space worlds such as Mars.
Our astronauts will be able to build the impossible in the future once we have mastered the processes involved in using 3D printers. What do you think about using 3D printers to build things on Mars?