Former astronaut and Lockheed Martin chief technologist Tony Antonelli asked "Are we alone?" at the 67th International Aeronautical Congress. The question encapsulates the reason why Lockheed Martin and NASA have partnered up to explore Mars. Both groups want to answer the age old question and learn whether life exists on the red planet.
Lockheed Martin is currently using 3D printers to manufacture parts for the Juno mission that will orbit Jupiter. At the event, they displayed brackets that were printed with a Makerbot Replicator 2. The brackets will hold the separate parts of the Juno spacecraft together.
In order to prepare the 3D printed parts for the spacecraft, they are printed, polished, and machine so they fit size and weight specifications.
According to Dave Murrow a business development officer, similar parts are in orbit and hovering over Jupiter.
NASA and Lockheed Martin are still preparing for a manned mission to Mars, and they will most likely send up a spacecraft with 3D printed parts.
The mission is believed to incorporate a variety of different technologies that include 3D printing, Virtual Reality, and others.
Photo by: Lockheed Martin