- NASA is funding a new project to explore recycling and remanufacturing in space.
- The grant recipient, Made In Space, intends to devise a plastics recycling system using 3D printers. The technology allows plastic components to be recycled and remanufactured in space using the printer. Astronauts could use the machine to create parts or items needed while on a mission.
- The findings in this experiment could potentially impact projects on Earth. According to Resource Efficient Business, resource extraction, waste storage requirements and in-situ manufacturing could be improved as a result of the project.
For NASA, the potential project benefit is less reliance on supplies from Earth, according to Resource Efficient Business: Missions could become self-sustaining. The Navy is also in discussions to assess if the technology can be useful in its operations and logistics.
This space experiment could also extend the parameters of the entire 3D printing industry by introducing new technology for the machines.