SpiderFabConcept NASA investing in self building spaceship research

NASA is funding research for a method that will let a spacecraft construct itself using built-in 3D printers, allowing potentially massive ships with a greater degree of complexity than has currently been possible.

NASA is funding research for a method that will let a spacecraft construct itself using built-in 3D printers, allowing potentially massive ships with a greater degree of complexity than has currently been possible.

 
The US space agency has invested $100,000 in SpiderFab, a firm that is looking at the feasibility of launching a 3D printer with necessary materials into space, and getting it to construct a spaceship in the cosmos.
 
The benefit of such an approach is that there would be no need to worry about designing the ship to withstand lift-off, which complicates current design processes and greatly increases the cost. Current ships also need to be able to fold up, given space limitations, which would not be an issue for a vehicle assembled in the heavens.
 
SpiderFabConcept NASA investing in self building spaceship research
 
The concept has so much potential that NASA believes such self-assembling ships could eventually be made to look for raw materials for assembly and repair in space itself, such as from asteroids or even the debris of broken satellites.
 
The technology, if developed in a feasible way, could lead to self-constructing satellites, telescopes, spacecraft, and even gigantic space stations. Printers in a publisher's office on Earth might be printing science-fiction, but 3D printers in space could end up printing the real thing.
 
Source: Tecca
Image Credit: Unlimited Tethers