Success: 3D Bioprinter in Space Prints With Human Heart Cells

The 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) is the first 3D printer capable of manufacturing human tissue (including, someday, organs) in the microgravity condition of space. (Credit: Techshot)

GREENVILLE, Ind., January 7, 2020 (Techshot PR) — A 3D bioprinter privately owned by an American company has successfully printed with a large volume of human heart cells aboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. Owned by Techshot Inc., a commercial operator of microgravity research and manufacturing equipment, the 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) was developed in partnership with nScrypt, a manufacturer of industrial 3D bioprinters and electronics printers. The tissue-like constructs return to Earth this week inside a SpaceX capsule.


Solving the Challenges of Long Duration Space Flight with 3D Printing

NASA Astronaut Barry (Butch) Wilmore holds a ratchet wrench created in 2014 with the 3D printer aboard the International Space Station using a design file transmitted from the ground. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The International Space Station has continuously been home to astronauts for more than nineteen years. Astronauts conduct scientific research using dozens of special facilities aboard the space station, which also provides them with a place to eat, sleep, relax and exercise. To make all of this possible requires sending more than 7,000 pounds of spare parts to the station annually. Another 29,000 pounds of spaceflight hardware spares are stored aboard the station and another 39,000 on the ground, ready to fly if needed.


Research Launching to the Space Station Ranges from Radiation Protection to Rover Control

Cygnus departs the International Space Station. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (NASA PR) — Supplies and scientific experiments ride to the International Space Station on a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft (NG-12) scheduled for launch on Nov. 2. The investigations making the trip range from research into human control of robotics in space to reprocessing fibers for 3D printing. Cygnus lifts off on the Antares rocket from pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island in Virginia.

Resupply missions from U.S. companies ensure NASA’s capability to deliver critical science research to the space station and significantly increase its ability to conduct new investigations in the only laboratory in space. This is the first mission under Northrop’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract with NASA.


Made in Space to Launch Plastics Recycler to ISS

Braskem Recycler (Credit: Made in Space)

Made in Space announced on Monday that it will send a system to the International Space Station (ISS) next month that will recycle plastic waste.

The Braskem Recycler will produce plastic feed stock that will be used in Made in Space’s additive manufacturing facility (AMF) aboard ISS, the company said.

“The Recycler will complete the plastic sustainability lifecycle on-orbit by providing astronauts the ability to convert plastic packaging and trash as well as objects previously fabricated by the 3D printer into feedstock to be reused by the printer,” the company said on its website. “It will facilitate the reusability of materials to solve new problems as they arise whether on the International Space Station or in future manned space exploration missions.”

The Braskem Recycle is scheduled for launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply ship on Nov. 2. The NG-12 mission will fly on an Antares booster from Wallops Island, Va.

Made in Space developed the recycler through a partnership with Braskem, a Brazil-based company that is America’s largest thermoplastic resin producer.

Braskem’s Green Plastic, a bio-based resin made from sugar cane, has been used in Made in Space’s 3D printer aboard the station for the printing of tools and spare parts.

Russia First to Print Living Tissue in Space

Oleg Kononenko using the 3D bio-printer aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — INVITRO, a leading medical company, and 3D Bioprinting Solutions biotechnology laboratory announced a successful completion of the first stage of the Magnetic 3D Bioprinter space experiment. On December 3, 2018, the Organaut bioprinter was delivered to the ISS on board the Soyuz MS-11 manned spacecraft. For the first time on orbit, cosmonaut-researcher Oleg Kononenko printed human cartilage tissue and a rodent thyroid gland using a Russian bioprinter.

The Organaut was already aboard the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft on October 11, 2018, but its crew returned to Earth 20 minutes later after an emergency situation. The bioprinter landed in the habitation module and was significantly damaged by overload. The backup was prepared and the crew’s repeated training was organized in the shortest possible time.


Russia to Deliver Magnetic 3-D Bioprinter to Space Station

Russia plans to deliver a magnetic 3-D bioprinter capable of growing living tissues and eventually the International Space Station (ISS) next month, TASS reports.

The Organ-Avt bioprinter, built by 3D Bioprinting Solutions, is a copy of one that was lost in the abort of the Soyuz MS-10 mission on Oct. 11. Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague parachuted to safety after a malfunction of their Soyuz-FG booster.

The bioprinter, which also can be used to used to study the effects on living organisms during long-duration spaceflights. will be carried to ISS aboard the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft. The spacecraft is set to lift off from the Baiknour Cosmodrome on Dec. 3 with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, American astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques aboard.

Russia to Send 3D Bio-Printer to Space Station

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)
The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — ACCD (United Rocket and Space Corporation, is a state corporation “Roscosmos”) has signed an agreement with the company “3D Bioprinting Solutions”, a resident of “Skolkovo” innovation center, the cooperation within the framework of which it is planned to create a unique bioprinter magnetic biofabrikatsii tissue and organ constructs in weightlessness on the International Space Station (ISS).


NASA Selects Tethers Unlimited for 4 SBIR Awards

Tethers_Unlimited_LogoNASA has selected Tethers Unlimited of Bothell, Wash., for four Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards to develop advanced spaceflight technology.

The selected proposals include:

  • ERASMUS: Food Contact Safe Plastics Recycler and 3D Printer System
  • 3D Printed Composite-Z and Graded-Z Radiation Shields (CoGZ-Rad)
  • Modular Advanced Networked Telerobotic Interface System (MANTIS)
  • OpenSWIFT-SDR for STRS.

Full descriptions of the proposals are below.


Research Payloads Arrive on International Space Station

Lowe's Innovation Labs/Made in Space 3D printer in action. (Credit: Jim Sulley/Newscast Creative)
Lowe’s Innovation Labs/Made in Space 3D printer in action. (Credit: Jim Sulley/Newscast Creative)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., March 26, 2016 (CASIS PR) – The most recent series of payloads have berthed with the International Space Station (ISS) today onboard the Orbital ATK Cygnus capsule.

Many of the investigations transported by United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket and Cygnus capsule are payloads sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space is tasked with managing and promoting research onboard the ISS National Laboratory, and all manifested payloads must contain the potential for Earth benefits.


Cygnus Cargo Vehicle Carrying New 3D Printer, Innovative Experiments

Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-6 mission to the ISS. (Credit: ULA)
Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-6 mission to the ISS. (Credit: ULA)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

A new 3D printer and research projects examining everything from adhesive technologies to the behavior of large fires in space were launched Tuesday, March 22, at 11:05 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.


Italian-made 3D Printer Undergoes Testing on International Space Station

Credit: ASI
Credit: ASI

ROME (ASI PR) –A 3D printer made in Italy on the International Space Station has been activated and is functioned nominally. Astronaut Scott Kelly triggered the Portable 3D Printer on board, which aims to create spare parts and tools in orbit.

During the experiment, which lasted an hour, everything performed in nominal mode.  The printer is designed to use PLA , a biodegradable and biocompatible plastic that, once expelled, permits the creation of 3D shapes. The entire session was filmed through the printer’s transparent window, allowing visual monitoring from the ground. The manufactured object will be compared with another similar printed to the ground, in order to consolidate the structural diversity.


ESA 3D Printer Set for Installation Aboard Space Station

Funded by the Italian space agency ASI, the POP3D (Portable On-Board Printer) for 3D printing will reach orbit in 2015 as part of ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission. (Credit: Altran)
Funded by the Italian space agency ASI, the POP3D (Portable On-Board Printer) for 3D printing will reach orbit in 2015 as part of ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission. (Credit: Altran)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Europe’s very first 3D printer in space is scheduled for installation aboard the ISS next year.

Designed and built in Italy, it will be put to the test as part as ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission, and is set to reach orbit in the first half of next year. Samantha herself will be launched on her six-month Station assignment on 23 November.

“The POP3D Portable On-Board Printer is a small 3D printer that requires very limited power and crew involvement to operate,” explained Luca Enrietti of Altran, prime contractor for the compact printer.

The unit is a cube with 25 cm sides and prints with biodegradable and harmless plastic using a heat-based process.

“Part of the challenge of designing a 3D printer for the Station was to ensure its operation does not affect the crew environment,” added Giorgio Musso of Thales Alenia Space Italy, principal investigator for the project.


Dragon to Carry Made in Space’s 3D Printer to ISS

The 3-D printer passed flight certification and acceptance testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in April. The technology demonstration will print objects in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The MSG Engineering Unit at Marshall is pictured in the background. (Credit:  NASA/Emmett Given)
TMike Snyder and Jason Dunn, both from Made In Space, assemble the 3-D printer that will fly to the International Space Station in the company’s cleanroom. (Credit: Made In Space)

By Jessica Eagan
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Riddle: It’s the size of a small microwave, and it may alleviate the need for NASA astronauts to wait for resupply ships to arrive at the International Space Station to get some essential items.

Answer: A 3-D printer — the first ever to be flown to space. And it could change the way NASA does business aboard the space station.


Made in Space 3D Printer Passes Key Flight Certification Milestone

Made in Space tests a 3D printer in microgravity. (Credit: Made in Space)
Made in Space tests a 3D printer in microgravity. (Credit: Made in Space)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Made in Space’s customized 3D printer, the first off-Earth manufacturing device scheduled for arrival at the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014, successfully completed a crucial milestone towards flight certification at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala.