Remote Support of Additive Manufacturing on Martian Analogs

This study investigates how 3D printing might be useful on a Mars mission to help reduce the number of spare parts needed and to solve unanticipated issues that might occur (à la Apollo 13). This is a continuation of work done on 3D printing during HI-SEAS Mission III during which over 730 individual pieces were printed. Results were presented in a paper titled “Utility of Additive Manufacturing on Martian Analogs and Manned Mars Missions” at the International Astronautical Congress. During Mission III, all design and printing work was done by the HI-SEAS crew. In actual spaceflight, design and prototype work would be given to experts on the ground with astronauts having a more limited role due to requirements to maximize astronaut time on mission objectives. This study will investigate this second operational mode. The HI-SEAS crew will determine the need for 3D printed parts and will send requests to mission support who will do part design and testing. Files for completed parts will then be sent to the crew ready to be printed.

Contact: Zak Wilson, zakwmars@gmail.com