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NASA to head back to the moon in 3D printed Orion capsule
In yet another milestone achievement in the field of space exploration, NASA has set a new benchmark. More than a hundred parts for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) space capsule, Orion, will be printed using the 3D printer technology. NASA's experts are firm believers of the fact that the 3D printing technology is going to eventually play a pivotal role in sending humans to Mars.

The Orion has the use of next generation materials with extremely efficient thermal, chemical and mechanical properties. Scott Sevcik, the Vice President of Manufacturing Solutions at Stratasys told Reuters, "In space, for instance, materials will build up a charge. If that was to shock the electronics on a spacecraft there could be significant damage." The materials are hence expected to be highly resistant to such exposures. One more big advantage associated with making the parts with 3D printing is that this technology is extremely cost effective and very efficient.  

The 3D printing technology has been in use for primarily making the prototypes across the range of various industries and that too for many years but now with the given advancement, it is being increasingly used for large scale production.  

Orion is expected to perform an unmanned test flight in 2019, though the exact date is yet to be specified. The space capsule is being jointly built by Lockheed Martin and Airbus. Orion will be the first spacecraft which will be launched on NASA's Space Launch System which is a giant rocket capsule and capable of producing a record breaking five million kilograms of thrust on takeoff!

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