The state corporation “Roscosmos” reports that this year on the International Space Station (ISS) will be held an experiment “3D-printing”. Its purpose is to test additive technologies for the production of products from polymer materials in space conditions.
The S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia is responsible for organizing the experiment. A specialized 3D printer developed at Tomsk Polytechnic University will be delivered to the Russian segment of the ISS next summer. It will be able to print samples and parts made of thermoplastic polymers by layer-by-layer superimposition of molten polymer thread. Currently, the creation of the printer is at the final stage.
Setting for 3D-printing will arrive on the ISS in June 2022 on board the cargo ship Progress MS-20. The experiment will be launched by the ISS-67 crew – cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergei Korsakov, who will fly to the station in March on the manned Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft.
“The resulting 3D-printed samples will be returned to Earth so that scientists can compare them with the same samples made by a ground-based 3D printer. This will allow a comprehensive study of the effects of microgravity on 3D printing,” the publication said.
In the future, the method of 3D-printing will allow astronauts to make the necessary parts and tools directly in space, including during long and long manned flights.