Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

NASA Seeks 'FabLab' Concepts for In-Space Manufacturing
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 05, 2017

International Space Station astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore holds a science sample container that took two hours to make in December 2014. The container was the first object to be printed with two parts: a lid and a container. Credits: NASA

NASA is seeking proposals for development of a first-generation, in-space, multi-material fabrication laboratory, or FabLab, for space missions. The FabLab solicitation is issued as Appendix B of the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP-2) Broad Agency Announcement.

The FabLab development path will be implemented in three phases with the objective of the final phase to demonstrate a commercially developed FabLab on the International Space Station. This solicitation seeks responses only to Phase A, in which private industry partners will produce ground-based prototypes with a measurable ability to mature into flight demonstrations on the space station within three years.

FabLab is part of a broad agency strategy and series of investments managed by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems Division (AES) and Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) to advance key technology capability areas. According to Jason Crusan, director of AES, which also manages NextSTEP, FabLab is a logical extension of in-space manufacturing following the success of 3-D printing plastics on the space station.

"We've already seen the benefits of on-demand manufacturing for tools and replacement parts on station," said Crusan. "We want to increase the number of materials we can use to manufacture items on-demand in space and improve overall manufacturing efficiencies as well." He added that in-space manufacturing ultimately should become an end-to-end process, capable of recycling feedstock as well as harvesting it from extraterrestrial sources.

For FabLab Phase A, NASA is requesting ground prototypes designed to be compatible with the space station's EXPRESS Racks and capable of remote-controlled operations from Earth to manufacture multi-material components, including metals.

Phase A selectees will have 18 months to deliver the prototype, after which NASA will determine which, if any, partners will continue to Phase B to further mature their technologies on the NextSTEP development path. Phase B details, including the maturation path to the final Phase C, will be released under a separate solicitation.

"Having an integrated capability for on-demand manufacturing and repair of components and systems during space missions will be integral for sustainable exploration missions," said Jim Reuter, deputy associate administrator for STMD Programs.

"This is a rapidly-evolving, disruptive area in which NASA wants to continue working with industry and academia to develop these technologies through collaborative mechanisms such as this one." He adds, "This BAA solicitation has great potential for developing meaningful applications for space missions, as well as direct terrestrial commercial infusion."

NextSTEP is a public-private partnership cost-sharing development model managed by AES that advances deep space exploration capabilities to support human missions in deep space. Small businesses, as defined by NASA's Small Business Innovative Research Program, are eligible for pro-rated cost-sharing agreements when partnering to develop capabilities for this NextSTEP Appendix.

NASA will host an informational industry forum to address questions, tentatively scheduled for May 23, 2017 at 11 a.m. EDT. Final inquiries from prospective responders to the NextSTEP-2 Appendix B are due June 2, 2017, and notices of intent (NOIs) are encouraged to be provided by June 16. Proposals are due August 2, 2017.

To view the RFI and guidelines in detail, visit here

Penn researchers quantify the changes that lightning inspires in rock
Philadelphia PA (SPX) Apr 27, 2017
Benjamin Franklin, founder of the University of Pennsylvania, is believed to have experimented with lightning's powerful properties using a kite and key, likely coming close to electrocuting himself in the process. In a new set of experiments at Penn, researchers have probed the power of lightning in a less risky but much more technologically advanced fashion. Chiara Elmi, a postdoct ... read more

Related Links
Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

12 Scientist-Astronaut Candidates Graduate at Embry-Riddle Through Project PoSSUM

Elon Musk teases future plans at TED

Students Taste Sweet Smell of Success in Culinary Challenge

Honeywell And Paragon To Create Life Support Technology For Future NASA Space Missions

SpaceX makes first US military launch, then lands rocket again

Strike-delayed European rocket launch to go ahead

India to launch GSAT-9 communication satellite on May 5: ISRO

SpaceX launches classified payload for NRO; 1st Stage returns to LZ-1

Japan aims to uncover how moons of Mars formed

Several drives put opportunity closer to 'Perseverance Valley'

Is Anything Tough Enough to Survive on Mars

How Old are Martian Gullies

Reach for the Stars: China Plans to Ramp Up Space Flight Activity

China to conduct several manned space flights around 2020

China's cargo spacecraft completes in-orbit refueling

China courts international coalition set up to promote space cooperation

How Outsourcing Your Satellite Related Services Saves You Time and Money

ViaSat-2 Satellite to Launch on June 1

ESA boosting its Argentine link with deep space

Arianespace, Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT sign a new Launch Services Agreement, for Horizons 3e

Why space dust emits radio waves upon crashing into a spacecraft

Ground Control Satellite Dish Arrives at University of Leicester

Raytheon receives $327M radar contract for U.S. Navy

SES Offers Panoramic Glimpse into the Future of TV with Live Virtual Reality Demo

SOFIA Confirms Nearby Planetary System Is Similar to Our Own

Nearby Star Confirmed as Good Model of Our Early Solar System

Next Breakthroughs in Exoplanet Discovery

Research Center A Hub For Origins of Life Studies

The PI's Perspective: No Sleeping Back on Earth!

ALMA investigates 'DeeDee,' a distant, dim member of our solar system

Nap Time for New Horizons

Hubble spots auroras on Uranus

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement