MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (AP) — NASA is preparing to launch a 3-D printer into space next year, a toaster-sized game changer that greatly reduces the need for astronauts to load up with every tool, spare part or supply they might ever need.
The printers would serve as a flying factory of infinite designs, creating objects by extruding layer upon layer of plastic from long strands coiled around large spools. Doctors use them to make replacement joints and artists use them to build exquisite jewelry.
In NASA labs, engineers are 3-D printing small satellites that could shoot out of the Space Station and transmit data to earth, as well as replacement parts and rocket pieces that can survive extreme temperatures.
“Any time we realize we can 3-D print something in space, it’s like Christmas,” said inventor Andrew Filo, who is consulting with NASA on the project. “You can get rid of…
View original post 741 more words
A massive earthquake that tragically killed more than 300 people and destroyed scores of mud huts in southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday also offered a surreal moment of creation. The tremor unleashed an underwater “mud volcano” that spewed mud and earth to create a new island, half a mile off the coast of the Pakistani port city of Gwadar. This satellite image, published for the first time here, depicts the 200-foot-wide island (and 100 feet high) in the middle of the Arabian Sea.
Aerial robotics company 3D Robotics announced today that that it collected $30 million in a Series B funding round, adding to a $5 million Series A round last November. Foundry Group and True Ventures (see disclosure) led the round.
3D Robotics builds drones for industrial and consumer use. The funding will go toward improving the abilities of its robots, with a focus on aerial surveillance applications like agriculture. Additional funding came from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and SK Ventures.
“The opportunity to bring ‘big data’ to agriculture through low-cost automated aerial crop surveys could be a game-changer for both farming and the UAV industry alike,” 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson said in a release. “Adding UAVs to the precision agriculture toolkit of a 21st century farmer gives them the power to use imaging data to not only increase yield, but decrease water use and the chemical load in both food and…
View original post 109 more words