It happens tonight at around 2am EST! You can watch it all on NASA TV on either your television through or online at NASA TV digital! Coverage starts at 1am and we’ll report more tomorrow. See the official press release from Made In Space below:
Off-World Manufacturing is Here
MADE IN SPACE ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF FIRST ZERO-GRAVITY 3D PRINTER TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (September 19, 2014) –On September 20 at 2:14am the first 3D printer intended for in-space use will depart aboard a rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., headed for the International Space Station (ISS).
This “machine shop for space” will mark the first time that a multi-purpose manufacturing device will be utilized off-world to create parts, tools and emergency solutions. Developed by Made In Space, Inc., under a contract with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), the 3D printer is part of a technology demonstration intended to show that on-site, on-demand manufacturing is a viable alternative to launching items from Earth.
“Everything that has ever been built for space has been built on the ground. Tremendous amounts of money and time have been spent to place even the simplest of items in space to aid exploration and development,” said Aaron Kemmer, Chief Executive Officer of Made In Space. “This new capability will fundamentally change how the supply and development of space missions is looked at.”
Following delivery to ISS, the 3D printer is scheduled to be installed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) to conduct its series of prints. The printer will create a series of test coupons, parts, tools, use case examples and even STEM project designs by students as part of the 3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment. This experiment, intended to demonstrate additive manufacturing capabilities in space, was developed through a partnership between Made In Space and NASA MSFC. Made In Space is working with business partners to formulate additional use case examples to demonstrate printer capabilities.