The first commercial exploration of asteroids will use laser 3D printing technology

by:Caodahai     2021-09-17
According to a recent report on the U.S. Parabola website, the newly established Deep Space Industries (DSI) company in the United States announced that it will launch a series of asteroid exploration spacecraft into the solar system to explore resources in order to accelerate the development of space to bring benefits to the earth. These 'FireFly' (FireFly) spacecraft use low-cost CubeSat components and enter space at low prices through the launch of larger communications satellites on board.   The chairman of DSI stated that this is the first commercial exploration of asteroids. By using low-cost technology, combining the experience of space projects and the innovative thinking of high-tech talents, projects that were impossible to achieve just a few years ago will be completed. The 'Firefly' spacecraft weighs about 25 kilograms and will be launched for the first time in 2015, with a flight time of 2-6 months. DSI will build a series of small spacecraft fleets, use innovative micro-technology, and cooperate with NASA and other companies and institutions to establish opportunities and goals. DSI will launch a 31.75 kilogram dragonfly (DragonFlies) spacecraft from 2016 to and from asteroids to collect samples. The 'Dragonfly' spacecraft will travel for 2-4 years and collect about 27.21~68.04 kilograms of samples.   Bringing back asteroid samples is just one step in many larger missions by Deep Space Industries. The company has a patented technology u0026mdash;u0026mdash;microgravity foundryu0026rdquo;, which converts the raw materials of asteroids into composite metal parts. The 'Microgravity Foundry' is a 3D printer that uses lasers to draw patterns in a nickel-filled gas medium to make nickel into precise shapes. 3D printing technology is based on the computer three-dimensional design model, through the software layered discretization and numerical control molding system, using laser beams, hot melt nozzles and other methods to stack metal powder, ceramic powder, plastic, cell tissue and other special materials layer by layer Bonding, and finally superimposing and forming to create a physical product. Unlike traditional manufacturing that uses molds, turning and milling and other mechanical processing methods to shape and cut raw materials to produce final products, 3D printing transforms three-dimensional entities into several two-dimensional planes. Reduce the complexity of manufacturing. This digital manufacturing mode does not require complicated processes, large machine tools, and a lot of manpower. Parts of any shape can be generated directly from computer graphics data, so that manufacturing can be extended to a wider range of production groups.  Microgravity Foundryu0026rdquo; is the first 3D printer that can create high-density, high-strength metal parts under zero gravity conditions. Other metal 3D printers need to melt metal powder in a gravitational field and form a porous structure. Others use low-melting, low-strength metals.   Senior NASA leaders listened to DSI’s technical introduction. By using asteroid-derived propellant, this technology will reduce the final cost of manned Mars exploration. If the fuel needed to reach Mars can be refilled by asteroids in space, the exploration mission will need to launch fewer things. Through microgravity foundryu0026rdquo; printing to replace broken parts, or to make new parts on the way to Mars, Mars missions will also be safer. Utilizing space resources is the only way to obtain permanent space development. More than 900 asteroids pass by the earth every year. Therefore, metals and fuels on asteroids can expand the development of industries in space.   For example, DSI has a huge market in the production of fuel for communication satellites. Providing low-cost asteroid propellants for communication satellites in orbit will extend the working life of the satellites, and each satellite will be worth 5-8 million U.S. dollars for each additional month. DSI has signed a secret agreement with an aerospace company to discuss cooperation in this opportunity.   Within ten years, DSI will obtain metals and other construction materials from asteroids, build large-scale communication platforms to replace communication satellites, and then build solar power stations that emit energy without using carbon to earth users. (The above is edited and compiled by the laser cutting machine from the Internet, please indicate the source for reprinting again!)
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