Regolith and space junk may be used in the future as materials for 3D printing of space and rocket equipment, Roscosmos First Deputy CEO for Orbital Cluster Development and Long-Term Projects Yuri Urlichich said on Thursday.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos currently faces a number of tasks in this area, he said. “It is necessary to formulate requirements for printing in orbit, achieve and adapt existing technologies, design technologies of additive manufacturing in outer space and find the material. This may be regolith, if this is the Moon, and this may be space junk, if we stay in near-Earth space,” the Roscosmos official said at a forum titled: “Additive Technologies. Expanding the Horizons.”
The development of additive technologies will make it possible to create a highly efficient system of producing rocket and space equipment in outer space, he specified.
Salyut Design Bureau Chief Designer Sergei Kuznetsov told Russian news agency TASS in September 2019 that additive technologies would be used to manufacture elements of the new Angara carrier rocket. He said there were plans to print special sets of adapters for joining a new spherical tank being developed together with a seat instead of the old Ukrainian version.