Voyage to Mars: Braskem, NASA, MadeinSpace launch “3D printing in space” using renewables

December 4, 2016 |

In Brazil, a partnership between Braskem, NASA and MadeInSpace has developed a technology “hat is critical to future manned missions including Mars exploration” – and we are doing this with a bioplastic, Braskem “I’m green” polyethylene.

In summary, the bioplastic is currently in use in the International Space Station where a zero-gravity 3D printer uses it to produce tools and components.


For over a year, Braskem’s Innovation & Technology team has been working with Made In Space to develop a Green Plastic solution especially for 3D printing in zero gravity. The partnership will enable astronauts to receive by e-mail digital designs of the parts and then print them, which means dramatic savings in terms of time and costs.

Polyethylene made from sugarcane was the material chosen for the project because of its combination of properties, such as flexibility, chemical resistance and recyclability, and also because it is made from a renewable resource. There are great expectations surrounding the project’s benefits, since 3D printing in space was defined by NASA as one of the advances essential for a future mission to Mars .

“The ability to print parts and tools in 3D on demand increases the reliability and safety of space missions. This partnership with Braskem is fundamental for diversifying the raw materials used by the AMF and for making this technology more robust and versatile,” said Andrew Rush, CEO of Made In Space.

There is a website with pictures, animation here.

More on the story.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Policy

Thank you for visting the Digest.