Nestled in a cargo bag scheduled to fly on the next SpaceX Dragon cargo carrier in September is a piece of equipment its builders hope will begin to change the way humans—and their robots—explore and exploit space. The device, essentially a 3-D polymer printer rated for spaceflight, will be installed in a glove box on the International Space Station (ISS) where the crew will evaluate how well it works in microgravity. Whatever the results, it will be the first space-based factory ...

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