Space & the Supply Chain

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_hm
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Why not use for earth too?
_hm   7/25/2014 4:43:45 PM
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Idea looks attractive. Why restrict it to space? We can also use it for earth.

Ariella
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Re: Why not use for earth too?
Ariella   7/25/2014 5:30:01 PM
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@_hm I'm sure that there are some similar looking models on earth, as terrestial models are one the resources MIT drew on in making a plan.  

Adeniji Kayode
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Re: Why not use for earth too?
Adeniji Kayode   7/26/2014 3:15:21 PM
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Well, while there are still more to be discovered on earth and about earth, I think the earth is congested already. Its in man's nature to explore and the space is the next.

Ariella
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Re: Why not use for earth too?
Ariella   7/26/2014 10:12:26 PM
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@Adeniji, What can I say, great minds share the same thought about solar power. :D Yes, it is the human condition to want to explore and as technology makes extended space exploration feasible, it's certain to happen. 

tirlapur
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Re: Why not use for earth too?
tirlapur   7/27/2014 2:45:10 PM
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@_hm: Space Supply Chain envelopes many models on the Earth. The problem is, most of these models suffer from supply chain management because here a large area has to be covered, also, when we talk about Space Supply Chain we also have to take into account a number of manufacturers who would love to get their hands on this project. This is a very risky business as it needs precision instruments along with robust electronics. We?ve simply had too many space disasters.

Ariella
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Re: Why not use for earth too?
Ariella   7/27/2014 3:46:52 PM
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@tirlapur yes, there were even quite a few disasters on the way to the moon and even after the successful lunar landings.  I still remember the shuttle disaster in the 80s, and, unfortunatley, it was not the last of them. We have to not cut any corners for the safety of our astronauts. 

tech4people
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Re: Why not use for earth too?
tech4people   7/28/2014 2:14:08 AM
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Ariella,

If you have followed our Space Programmes closely(especially the Civilian versions);you will notice we tend to cut costs where they are'nt required[Especially when it comes to Safety Systems,etc] ;This is the Primary reason why America no longer uses its old Space Shuttles to fly back into Space.

Manned Missions back into space have become very-very costly for any one country to manage on their own today(Sure the Chinese are trying very hard to do it but eventually even there the Cost starts to hurt a country where there is Zero Accountability involved).

Colloborative Versions (where Costs and Risks are spread out between Nations) is easily the way to go forwards here.

Regards

Ashish.

tech4people
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Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
tech4people   7/26/2014 1:08:44 PM
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Ariella,

Wanting to do everything with 3D Printing is all well and good but anyone who has experimented with 3D Printing for any point of time will tell you that there are serious Reliability Issues involved with the Products Generated by 3D printing at this point of time.

I don't think we are quite ready for Primetime (in Space) with 3D Printing.

After all the room for Error in Space is much-much less than on earth.

Please do correct me if I am wrong here.

Regards

Ashish.

TaimoorZ
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Re: Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
TaimoorZ   7/26/2014 7:55:56 PM
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@Ashish: I agree with you on this aspect. The room for error is very negligible when it comes to a 3D printing machine in space that has to produce everything the astronauts need. I think you do need some backup option in this case, particularly when the technology is not very mature yet.

Ariella
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Re: Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
Ariella   7/26/2014 10:18:11 PM
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@TaimoorZ As you see the plan set up by MIT doesn't depend on 3D printing supplies on demand.  As a replicator on par with what we saw in Star Trek is still in the realm of science fiction, NASA is not banking on 3D printing whatever the astronauts will need. It is something that could help in future, as it would allow astronauts a way to produce certain things on demand that they may not have anticipated needing. The experiement of 3D printing in space is still in early stages. But as 3D printing itself has already proven to be a way to increase efficiency and achieve certain designs using less material and less weight -- the way GE produces titanium jet parts -- NASA can use 3D printing in manufacturing some equipment on earth ahead of launch.

tech4people
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Re: Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
tech4people   7/28/2014 2:16:43 AM
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Taimoor,

Please don't read my comments as being entirely Negative on 3D Printing Tech[I am not].

But having experimenting with this Tech myself I can easily tell you it is'nt ready for something as mission-critical as Space Operations today.

We definitely need more Zero Gravity Experiments before we are ready for this Tech today.

Can it happen?It could but it will take a lot more time before we are ready to depend on this Tech in Space(atleast another decade or so).

Regards

Ashish.

 

Ariella
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Re: Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
Ariella   7/26/2014 10:09:15 PM
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@Ashish I'm working on another blog (not for this board) that focuses on 3D printing in space. You're right that we're not there yet. There have been experiements on earth, and the next step is to actually bring the printer into space, something that is scheduled to happen in the very near future. I don't want to give away too many spoilers.

tech4people
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Re: Will the Tools created with 3D Printing Be Robust and be able to withstand the Rigours of Space?
tech4people   7/28/2014 2:10:22 AM
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Ariella,

Have to agree wholeheartedly!

[With your basic point here-That the Tech is'nt ready for Space Prime-time].

I am sure as they experiment more and more with it in Zero Gravity Enviroments they will learn more about 3D Printing can and can't do successfully.

Till then there has to be a Back-up for This Tech for Astronauts to successfully work around in case it does'nt quite work as planned.

Please keep us posted on your Follow-up Blog!

Regards

Ashish.

TaimoorZ
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Potential Issues
TaimoorZ   7/26/2014 1:17:23 PM
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Theoretically it seems like a novel idea and something that would indeed solve major problems for astronauts. However, I think there will also be potential issues surrounding it. One of the issues I can think of would be related to power consumption and how to ensure that the printer is efficient in terms of consuming the power and, if possible, generating it on its own.

Adeniji Kayode
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Re: Potential Issues
Adeniji Kayode   7/26/2014 3:18:49 PM
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Obviously, the printer would be solar powered.

TaimoorZ
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Re: Potential Issues
TaimoorZ   7/26/2014 8:20:59 PM
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@Adeniji: I don't think solar power can purely be relied on. It may require some form of a backup power generation medium.

Susan Fourtané
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Solar power
Susan Fourtané   7/27/2014 7:18:10 AM
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As solar power is becoming more common on Earth it makes sense that by the time all these projects are sent to space there will also be a plan for solar powered 3D printer and other needed equipment.

-Susan

Ariella
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Re: Solar power
Ariella   7/27/2014 3:41:00 PM
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@Susan I couldn't have expressed it any better. I believe in the potential of 3D printing and the potential of solar power. Bringing the two together will be fantastic for advances in space, as well as on earth. 

Ariella
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Re: Potential Issues
Ariella   7/26/2014 10:10:31 PM
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@Taimoor excellent question. It's something that also applies to extended space travel in general. Perhaps there are ways to harvest solar power the way some satellites do, but I'd have to check to ascertain if there is such a plan in place. 

tirlapur
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NASA is going big
tirlapur   7/27/2014 2:44:23 PM
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NASA is funding (or at least plans to fund) projects like Solar Sail and faster than light travel to unlock the space beyond Mars, and each of these missions would be manned. Arguably, Boeing would be the best aviation manufacturer for them, and they need this too, because the recent crashes of MH 370 and MH 17 has made their shares plummet towards the ground. This is very crucial for Boeing at this point. 

Ariella
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Re: NASA is going big
Ariella   7/27/2014 3:42:55 PM
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@tiralpur thanks for that information.  Boeing does have a significant contract with NASA. I don't know if that will have an immediate impact on its share price, but down the road, it should be of help.  



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