Ratchet wrench ‘emailed’ to space station

December 22, 2014 8:46 PM

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A future where mission control can digitally dispatch tools, spare parts and other vital materials to far-flung space crews took one giant leap toward reality when a 3D printer aboard the International Space Station produced a ratchet wrench on demand.

The 3D printer has been on the space station since it launched on an automated SpaceX supply ship in September, printing test coupons designed to prove the device functions in the weightless environment more than 200 miles above Earth.

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