This case study examines 3-D printing as an effective solution to ensure just in time logistics capability for supporting a crewed colony on Mars. It explores the cost to weight benefits of an advanced shipment sent prior to the crewed mission to ensure on-planet production capacity on arrival and landing for sustained operations with limited resupply from Earth. In order to project a realistic and financially reasonable solution, a quantitative descriptive analysis method is utilized. Data was collected through text research and research tools provided from the United States Government (NASA) and private industry via internet sources. From correlated data, it finds that utilizing additive manufacturing allows for greater flexibility from pre-fabricated items through a secondary shipment separate from a crewed mission, allowing more material to be sent while the crews can carry more essential items for survival. Ideas for consideration and for future research are provided to readers in order to establish a starting point for future work.
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Jeffrey W. Rogers. "Supplying Space: 3D Printing for Interplanetary Logistics" (2021). Space Studies Student Publications. 1.