Someday, old-timers will tell the children bouncing on their knee about the days when astronauts needing a tool had to wait until a space ship from Earth had to bring it to them.
That day is at hand, apparently.
CNet reports that NASA has, basically, emailed a wrench to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
Made in Space is the group created to design, build and ultimately send a zero-gravity 3D printer to the ISS. The company heard that Wilmore needed a ratcheting socket wrench, and fired up its CAD (computer-aided design and drafting) software and designed one. Once the design for the wrench was complete, they converted it to a 3D-printer-ready format called G-code, and sent it over to NASA, which beamed it up to the ISS where it was printed automatically.
The wrench, as well as the 20 other objects that have been 3D-printed on the ISS thus far, will be sent back to Earth for further analysis. Made in Space plans to compare these 21 objects to identical 3D-printed objects that were printed on Earth to test things like the effect of long-term microgravity on the 3D-printing process so they can model and predict how well things printed in space will hold up in the future. From there, they can further enhance their 3D printer and printing technology to build better objects for use in space.
That might have been the best news conference in the administration of President Barack Obama, who has been far too reclusive in his years in office when it comes to answering questions from the media.
The choice today to hold the news conference in an informal setting was just right. His quips were Kennedy-esque, and he didn’t seem quite so afraid of offending his political opponents, as if an election no longer depended on what he had to say.
He criticized Sony for caving in to North Korean hackers, and delivered a fine blow by noting that these people — runners in the Boston Marathon — weren’t quite as afraid.
When your proposal isn’t on a scoreboard, doesn’t involve a marching band, anyone’s friends, YouTube, TV stations, newspaper reporters and bloggers.
When it’s just you and the person you love. Oh, and the person who captured the proposal by accident while taking a picture of Saint Paul’s Rice Park Christmas lights.
Mazel tov, you kids!
Predictably, the media is searching for the couple. If you know them, keep it to yourself and let the moment be theirs alone — just the way they wanted it.
Update 5:22 p.m. The Star Tribune reports the person who took the picture has been in touch with the couple, and they wish to remain private. Because, we suspect, they’re in love and the moment was about each other and each other only.
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