NASA is including the Redwire Regolith Print (RRP), a printing system, in their preparation for the future Artemis lunar missions. They intend to use the moon's dusty soil (officially known as regolith) as a printing raw material. Instead of hauling tons of heavy equipment from Earth, the plan is to use readily available resources on the moon to build what is needed.

Engineers want to 3D print with regolith from the moon for a long time, and in fact, they have proven the procedure on Earth possible. Bringing a 3D printer to ISS for testing is a significant step toward making the technology suitable for deployment. The researchers would like to know if printing without gravity is possible and what the strength of the printed material should be.

Moon Buggy
(Photo: NASA/Dave Scott via Wikimedia Commons)
One of a series of images taken as a pan of the Apollo 15 landing site, taken by Commander Dave Scott. Featured is the Lunar Roving Vehicle at its final resting place after EVA-3. At the back is a rake used during the mission. Also note that the red Bible atop the hand controller in the middle of the vehicle, placed there by Scott.

NASA Wants a 3D Printer Using Moon Dust To Print in Space

The plan was disclosed when NASA launched the Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft to the International Space Station using the Antares Rocket.

Universe Today said that NASA will attach the RRP project to another printer called ManD to make a simulated regolith.

If that goes well, the ISS crew will examine the material's strength to determine if it can withstand circumstances on other planets.

If RRP does its task successfully, it might bring forth the possibility of printing materials needed to create space settlements. This may cut down on the number of construction materials NASA needs to transport to the Moon and Mars.

For years, scientists have been planning soil-based ecosystems. The RRP project is an attempt by the agency to 3D print dirt in a reduced gravity environment.

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You Can Still Pretend To Live on Mars Without Leaving Earth

According to Global News, NASA revealed earlier this month that it would take four people a year to live in Mars Dune Alpha.

A 3D printer will make the Martian home, which will be 1,700 feet long. It will be constructed inside Houston's Johnson Space Center.

NASA will pay four individuals who will voluntarily participate in a simulated Martian exploration mission. The simulation includes limited communications, spacewalks, supplies, and food, as well as equipment failures. 

The space agency will split the tests into three phases, which will begin in mid-2022. NASA's senior scientist, Grace Douglas, stated that they want to know how humanity would fare in the Red Planet.

According to USA Today, the space agency specified several criteria for volunteers to meet to be considered for the program.

A master's degree in engineering, physics, math, or pilot experience is required of volunteers. Only citizens or permanent US residents are eligible to apply.

They should be between the ages of 30 and 55, in good physical condition, have no dietary restrictions, and are not susceptible to motion sickness.

Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield believes that it demonstrates NASA's need for volunteers familiar with astronauts. If the volunteers are comparable to people who will travel to Mars, the tests will provide better results.

Hadfield, who stayed in the International Space Station for five months, believes that having the proper individual for the experiment would be beneficial. Volunteers, he added, might use their time to learn a new skill or catch up on TV series. Volunteers might gain 'freedom' by spending a year away from the responsibilities of ordinary life.

When it comes to space experiments, Hadfield believes that attitude is crucial. Participants must be resourceful, capable, and not dependent on others for comfort.

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