One manufacturing company just made history by successfully using a special 3D printer in extreme, space-like conditions.
The team printed polymer alloy parts in a super-high vacuum, and hope their new tech will allow the design and manufacture of much more ambitious spacecraft and space-based telescopes.
"This is an important milestone, because it means that we can now adaptively and on demand manufacture things in space," Andrew Rush, CEO of Made in Space, told Scientific American.
The company has already demonstrated the ability to print 3D parts in a zero-g environment.
In 2010 it printed a range of structures on the International Space Station, including tools the astronauts could make on demand so they don't have to wait for the next payload.