So, if you’ve followed space tourism and you’ve followed the advent of 3D printing you may just wonder what one has to do with the other? A lot, frankly, not directly but a lot.
You see right now, a Made in Space 3D printer is being blasted up to the International Space Station to test its effectiveness and durability in space. And, here’s the kicker, this machine will, if all goes well, be able to manufacture some parts for the ISS, which will eliminate shipping from Earth.
So, for space tourism, the near future involved trips to Low Earth Orbit, so there won’t be a big need for 3D printers in space in this venue. But, a few years down the road, when space hotels start to pop up or stations on the Moon or even Mars, printers will be needed for fabricating parts, food, medicine, human tissues and many other needs.
Once we put regular ole human in space it’s a whole new ballgame and this game involves 3D printing to keep the whole industry going.