[meteorite-list] NASA Scientists Have 3D-Printed A Replica Of A Meteorite On Mars
From: Shawn Alan <shawnalan_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 02 May 2014 18:17:27 -0700
Now I am wanting to get a 3D printer even more these days cause what it
enjoy the article down below :)
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NASA Scientists Have 3D-Printed A Replica Of A Meteorite On Mars
We're still several years away from a Mars Sample Return Mission. So,
for now, we'll have to settle for the next best thing. NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory has created a true-size facsimile of "Block
Island"? a Martian meteorite discovered by the Opportunity rover in
Usually, meteorites break apart upon hitting the Martian surface, since
the atmosphere is too thin to slow them down. Scientists believe Block
Island remained intact due to the combination of a very specific entry
point into the atmosphere and a very shallow flight path.
Whatever the reason, this is the largest meteorite yet found on Mars: at
two-feet wide and comprised of iron and nickel, it is estimated to weigh
about a half-ton.
Block Island's plastic doppelg?nger here on Earth is considerably
lighter, but the resemblance is startling. Scientists based the design
on detailed measurements and stereo images taken by Opportunity's
panoramic camera. Still, the rover was not able to see every square inch
of the meteorite, which created data holes in the computer model.
Earlier attempts at printing a 3D replica fell apart.
Eventually, the scientists solved the problem by building several small
models of the meteorite, which allowed them to visualize the missing
data points. Next, they used software?normally used to create
navigation terrain maps for rovers?to generate depth meshes of the
meteorite's surface from six positions, which were then combined into a
3D digital model.
Since Block Island was too large to print all at once, the scientists
printed out 11 different segments and assembled them together. Total
time to print the parts: 305 hours and 36 minutes. NASA says the project
opens the door to other detailed models of objects and terrain on Mars,
or elsewhere in the solar system.
Received on Fri 02 May 2014 09:17:27 PM PDT