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13 May 2016 Enablement of defense missions with in-space 3D printing
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Outer space has the potential to become the battlefield of the 21st century. If this occurs, the United States will need to invest heavily into research and development regarding space assets, construction approaches, and anti-satellite technologies in order to ensure the requisite level of offensive and deterrent capabilities exist. One challenge that the U.S. faces is the expense of inserting satellites into orbit. With an in-space 3D printer, engineers would not need to incur the design and construction costs for developing a satellite that can survive the launch into orbit. Instead, they could just create the best design for their application and the in-space 3D printer could print and deploy it in orbit. This paper considers the foregoing and other uses for a 3D printer in space that advance national security.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael Parsons, Thomas McGuire, Michael Hirsch, Skye Leake, and Jeremy Straub "Enablement of defense missions with in-space 3D printing", Proc. SPIE 9838, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications IX, 98380U (13 May 2016);


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