Need a Tool on the Moon? 3D Print One Made Out of Moon RocksCross country road trips and voyages to outer space have at least one thing in common -- bringing along baggage is a hassle. Researchers working to minimize the cargo that space travelers will need to carry in the future are, quite naturally, looking to 3D printing as a solution. After all, why bring a tool box along when you can just print the contents of one as needed? A team of materials scientists at Washington State University is taking that tactic a step further, though, using material found in moon rocks in a 3D printer -- an advance that could one day mean that if you need a screwdriver on the moon, you can scoop up a handful of dust and print one at a moment's notice.Read on...
Best Proof Yet That Moon Was Created By Smaller Planet Colliding With EarthEarth's unusually large, close moon is pretty key to life on the planet, governing the regular tide cycles that may have been necessary to set the stage for the first life in the planet's oceans, but its origin has been the subject of a number of competing theories. The leading explanation also happens to be the most awesome one -- that a planetoid about the size of Mars smashed into the Earth some four and a half billion years ago, dashing off a chunk of the still developing planet that hung around as the natural satellite we know and love. That theory moved a long way toward validation today with the finding that Moon rocks show chemical signatures consistent with being exposed to an explosion that was literally Earth-shattering.Read on...