Written By Mike Wall Via Space.com
An asteroid-mining company is giving the world a glimpse at its vision of the future.
Planetary Resources, which aims to extract water and other useful materials from asteroids, has 3D-printed an object using metal powder gleaned from a space rock.
"It is the first part ever 3D-printed with material from outer space and is reminiscent of a design that could originate from a 3D printer in the zero-gravity environment of space," Planetary Resources representatives wrote in a blog post Thursday (Jan. 7) about the object, which is about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) tall by 3.4 inches (8.7 cm) wide and weighs 8.8 ounces (250 grams). [10 Ways 3D-Printing May Transform Space Travel]
"The asteroid (or meteorite) used for the print materials was sourced from the Campo Del Cielo impact near Argentina, and is composed of iron, nickel and cobalt — similar materials to refinery-grade steel," they added.
Planetary Resources worked with the company 3D Systems to build the complex geometric object, which was unveiled Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.