Astronauts Will Now Recycle, Reuse 100% Plastic On The Space Station, And We Are All Proud
Astronauts on the ISS (International Space Station) are known to do some really cool and wacky things. And now, they're going to recycle waste plastic that will be used to make tools and cutlery, serving as inspirational plastic warriors for all of us on terra firma.?
A NASA contractor that goes by the name 'Made In Space'? is sending a machine that it calls 'Recycler' to the?ISS?that can melt scraps of plastic to be turned into ink for a 3D printer.
The device is being sent abord the Cygnus cargo spacecraft that is scheduled to make the delivery on November 2nd.
The Recycler is made in collaboration with Brazilian petrochemical company Braskern.
The machine will break down the plastic and produce a 'space cement mixture'. This will turn the old plastic into a form of 'bioink' that will make this reusable for multiple times.
As per a statement on Made In Space's website, "The Recycler will complete the plastic sustainability life cycle on-orbit by providing astronauts the ability to convert plastic packaging and trash as well as objects previously fabricated by the 3D printer into feedstock to be reused by the printer."
It further added, "It will facilitate the reusability of materials to solve new problems as they arise whether on the International Space Station or in future manned space exploration missions."
The machine can recycle any kind of green polyethene by simply melting it and turning it into a resin that can be reused to 3D print things.
With the presence of Recycler, astronauts can fabricate many necessary things out of plastic thus reducing shipping costs.
Along with the Recycler, NASA is also sending a Zero-G oven to space, which is going to test how food gets baked in microgravity. This will also provide a wider variety of fresh and healthy meal that astronauts can consume, while also benefiting astronauts psychologically.