Girls in STEM

Update: Spotlight School Success

Update: Spotlight School Success

SUCCESS! Since electing Liberty Elementary School as our Spotlight School, we have come to adore the Liberty family more and more each day.  T

News and Insight

Search articles, videos and updates on 3D Printing and its growing presence in our world

Girls in STEM

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

WATCH: Ms. Houck's TEACHER FEATURE

This week, we bring you a short video on a STEM'tastic educator! Scroll down to WATCH this educator doing what she does best - teachi

Videos

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Cool Vid: 3D Printing for K-12 Education

Watching super cool EDUCATIONAL videos from across the web is one of our favorite pastimes! Join us in learning more about 3D printing in the clas

Science and Math

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the Season for STEM

'Tis the season for GINGERBREAD and working the delicious treat into your family - and CLASSROOM - fun. Last week, as students across the

Close

Aerospace 3D Printing used for Asteroid prospecting

By Staff Writter

Aerospace 3D Printing used for Asteroid prospecting

Engineering

It is a truism that space probes have to cost a lot of money, the cheapest in the tens of millions and some often in the hundreds of millions and even into the billions of dollars. This is largely because spacecraft of any type has to survive the harsh conditions of space, extreme of heat and cold, vacuum, micro gravity, and radiation. But it seems that a private company, Planetary Resources, is using aerospace 3d printing and some clever engineering to bring that cost down into the millions. According to a recent article in Computer World, its first space probe, an orbiting space telescope, will cost about $2 million.

The first spacecraft that Planetary Resources will launch is called the Arkyd 100, a space telescope that will search out Earth approaching asteroid that might be suitable for mining The Arkyd 100 was crowd funded through Kickstarter, so the company is primarily paying for launch costs.

The Arkyd 100 will be followed by the Arkyd 200 and the Arkyd 300, which will also be created through 3d printing.

The Arkyd 200 will conduct flyby missions of asteroids that the Arkyd 100 have designated as possible targets for mining, garnering a closer look. The Arkyd 300 will actually orbit candidate asteroids to do actual remote prospecting.

Planetary Resources believes that asteroids are an untapped treasure trove containing everything from platinum and rare earths that can be brought back to Earth to water that can be used by future space colonists and refined as rocket fuel. 3d printing is lowering the entry cost for an operation that has a high risk, but the highest reward imaginable.