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NASA Lab Seeks Logo Design for Materials to be sent in Space Missions

NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) in partnership with Freelancer.com, is hosting a logo design challenge open to graphic designers from all around the world.

The goal of the NASA In-Space Manufacturing Logo Challenge is to develop a project logo and/or patch that will graphically convey the key theme of space exploration and on-demand manufacturing and repair. The logo will be used in multiple ways, including presentation materials developed by the project, team items (shirts, mugs, etc) and in materials developed for education and public outreach.

3D-rendered image of the International Space Station by 3Dsculptor / Shutterstock.com

Astronaut holding up a 3D printed tool in the ISS. Image courtesy of NASA

The logo design will be used for NASA´s In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) project, which is responsible for developing the manufacturing capabilities that will provide on-demand, sustainable operations during in-transit and on-surface NASA Exploration Missions. This project is the first step towards realizing a “machine shop” in space, which is a critical enabling component of any deep space exploration mission.

ISM supports a “make it, don’t take it” approach and the key capabilities being developed in the project include a 3D printing Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab), which can manufacture parts in space using multiple materials to reduce mass and waste. In 2015, the ISM project made history by sending the first 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS) and manufacturing the first parts ever in space.

These new 3D printing technologies should provide:

  • The capability to produce hardware on demand, directly lowering cost and decreasing risk by having the exact part or tool needed in the time it takes to print.

  • A much-needed solution to the cost, volume and up-mass constraints that prohibit launching everything needed for long-duration or long-distance missions from Earth, including spare parts and replacement systems.

Deputy Manager for the NASA Center of Excellence and Collaborative Innovation Steven Rader says, "We have received some really great designs in past crowdsourcing challenges posted on Freelancer.com. Once again, we’re leveraging the Freelancer community by engaging the crowd to design a logo for a project that is crucial in advancing deep space exploration."

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