Meteorite as raw material for Direct Metal Printing: A proof of concept study

Karel Lietaert, Lore Thijs, Bram Neirinck, Thomas Lapauw, Brian Morrison, Chris Lewicki

    Research outputpeer-review


    Asteroid mining as such is not a new concept, as it has been described in science fiction for more than a century and some of its aspects have been studied by academia for more than 30 years. Recently, there is a renewed interest in this subject due the more and more concrete plans for long-duration space missions and the need for resources to support industrial activity in space. The use of locally available resources would greatly improve the economics and sustainability of such missions. Due to its economy in material, use of additive manufacturing (AM) provides an interesting route to valorize these resources for the production of spare parts, tools and largescale structures optimized for their local microgravity environment. Proof of concept has already been provided for AM of moon regolith. In this paper the concept of In-Situ Resource Utilization is extended towards the production of metallic objects using powdered iron meteorite as raw material. The meteorite-based powder was used to produce a structural part but further research is needed to obtain a high density part without microcracks
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)76-81
    Number of pages6
    JournalActa Astronautica
    StatePublished - 6 Feb 2018

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