WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Members of Congress, along with Made in Space (MIS), Applied Systems and Technology Transfer (AST2) and high ranking military officials gathered in Washington, D.C., to facilitate the transfer of a Technical Data Package (TDP) from the Capitol Hill Maker Faire to the International Space Station (ISS) June 21.
The TDP contains a 3-D blueprint of the "TruClip," an item used to repair hand radios used on ships. TruClip was created in the Navy's first shipboard fabrication lab aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) who participated in Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center's 2016 Fleet Design Challenge, also known as Project Apollo.
"We have a part called the TruClip," said Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Readiness and Logistics. "It was designed by three Sailors on the Truman, half a world away on deployment. This part they designed has been digitally sent to us so that we can send it to the International Space Station. Even though these are small steps, it's kind of a giant leap for everyone."
Through the Secretary of the Navy's Task Force Innovation, Sailors from around the fleet are encouraged to come up with new ideas on how to better use resources and find solutions to day-to-day problems through the investments in the fabrication labs.
"The idea behind a FAB LAB is innovation for the Sailors," said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 1st Class Rebecca Zickuhr, senior facilitator at MARMAC FAB LAB. "It's to take the technology we have and put it in their hands so that problems they see every day on the ship and the fleet they can come up with more cost-effective solutions for."
This TDP will be one of the first files to be sent to the ISS and 3-D printed in space. With the advent of this new technology soon we will be able to scan things with smartphones, create a 3-D model and be able to print a replica in a matter of hours. This idea is helping improve shipboard life, decrease reliance on outside sources and create a more cost-effective Navy.
For more information on Mid-Atlantic Reginal Maintenance Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/nssa/ .