3D Printer Doesn’t Make it to Space – NASA Will Attempt Launch Again Tomorrow

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The build-up has been killing us, the very first 3D printer to make its way out of the earths atmosphere was scheduled to take off early this morning. I imagined waking up at dawn, to images of a successful launch and eventually hearing about the docking at the International Space Station (ISS) where the Made in Space Zero-G 3D printer would begin a manufacturing process, which is literally out of this world.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with ISS-RapidScat on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, FL (NASA)

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with ISS-RapidScat on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, FL (NASA)

Unfortunately, there was a bit of a let down this Saturday morning. There was no launch, there is no 3D printer in space, and the commencement of the 3D printing process will likely be pushed back by at least a day.

“The launch director and team have made the determination to scrub today’s launch attempt,” Mike Curie, NASA launch commentator reported.

Weather Forecast for  Sunday Morning

Weather Forecast for Sunday Morning (Weather.com)

The reasoning? Weather. Living in Florida myself, it’s been quite wet these last 24 hours or so, with rain continuing this morning. NASA decided to not take any chances, and instead has push the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon spacecraft back to tomorrow morning instead. The new launch time will be 1:53 a.m. EDT on September 21, provided the weather cooperates, which according to Weather.com, there is a very slight (0-10%) chance of rain around that time.  Fortunately, the storm system which has been bringing all the wet, dreary weather to the Sunshine State is slowly pushing away.

The SpaceX 4 Commercial Resupply Services flight with ISS-RapidScat mission will be bringing cargo weighing approximately 5,000 pounds to the ISS. In that cargo, of course is the Zero-G 3D printer which NASA hopes to be the beginning of a program designed to manufacture tools and components in space, reducing future payloads. They also hope that this research will eventually lead to their ability to 3D print structures on other worlds such as Mars.

For those of you wishing to watch the launch live, NASA is making this possible. The countdown coverage will commence at 12:45 a.m. EDT on both NASA’s launch blog and on NASA TV. Stay up to date on the launch, as well as the eventual 3D printing which will be taking place in the days and weeks ahead, in the NASA 3D Printer forum thread on 3DPB.com

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