Learn about 3D printing on Mars in Franklin 

  • FILE - This illustration made available by NASA in March 2018 shows the twin Mars Cube One project (MarCO) spacecrafts flying over Mars with Earth and the sun in the distance. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats, a kind of modular, mini-satellite, flown into deep space. They're designed to fly along behind NASA's InSight lander on its cruise to Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

Monitor staff
Published: 5/22/2019 2:19:24 PM

Those who want to learn about what it might be like to live on Mars will have an opportunity in Franklin on Thursday night.

Erika Rydberg, a 3D printing expert at Plymouth State University, will be speaking on her trip at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah from 7 to 9 p.m. at Franklin Studio.

The Desert Research Station a nonprofit that operates a facility allowing researchers to simulate a Mars mission. For a week and a half from March 26 to April 7, Rydberg lived with four other researchers in a contained space, where they had to eat dehydrated food, communicate with the outside world only by radio and wear space suits to go outside.

While Rydberg and her fellow researchers were there, they were using drones to capture images of their surroundings to make 3D maps. They also tested and created 3D medical devices.

Rydberg said she will be talking in Franklin about her experience at the Mars Desert Research Station, 3D printing, and similar “Mars experiences” that exist on Earth.

There is a similar Mars “habitat” in Hawaii run by NASA. Like the Mars Desert Research Station, the station is being used to test technologies and research systems, as well as human interaction during long periods in confinement. It will help prepare for what would be a two- to three-year interplanetary mission to Mars.

The TEDx salon is the first put on by TEDx TrestleViewPark, a chapter of TEDx located in Franklin.

The organization had a regular TEDx event in September, where Rydberg was also a speaker. In that case, she spoke about her experience being part of roller derby and how it built her confidence.

Regular TEDx events are recorded and there is usually limited interaction between the audience and the speaker. The salons are more casual events.

“The idea is to be able to have more discussion – in a regular TEDx, you don’t get any interaction with the audience. Here, it’s more interaction with the audience,” said organizer Oscar Gala Grano. “Everyone can participate.”

(Leah Willingham can be reached at 369-3322, lwillingham@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @LeahMWillingham.)

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