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NASA’s MacGyver of sensors is a 3D printed nanomaterial marvel

NASA’s MacGyver of sensors is a 3D printed nanomaterial marvel

Written by David

February 17, 2019

A potentially groundbreaking nanomaterial sensor could revolutionize how NASA explores planets, dramatically shrinking existing technologies into a far more capable form-factor. After refinement, the 3D printed sensor could find itself equipping future NASA missions to the moon and Mars, monitoring astronauts, and on the robotic arms of robots like the ill-fated Opportunity rover. Currently, sensor payload can add significantly to how much weight space missions are expected to carry. Rovers like Opportunity and Curiosity are typically equipped with a number of task-specific sensor arrays and test suites. Competition to have a certain instrument onboard is high within NASA, as divisions push to have their project – and the machinery it requires – selected. Replacing traditional instrumentation with a more flexible, lighter alternative, therefore, could have a huge impact on the cost and capabilities of future NASA missions. That’s the project that was undertaken by the US space agency’s Goddard […]

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