A new space race has emerged as government agencies and private companies around the world strive to be the first to land humans on Mars. While each of these institutions may differ in the details of their plans to reach the Red Planet, one thing that pretty much all of them agree on is the fact that 3D printing is going to play a large role, from the fabrication of the spacecraft to the printing of supplies during the journey to the building of habitable structures upon arrival. NASA is currently working with a University of Central Florida professor to research a process called Molten Regolith Electrolysis, which is similar to the technology used to refine metal ores on Earth. The idea is that astronauts would feed Martian soil into a chamber, which would then be heated to nearly 3,000°F, producing oxygen and molten metals via electrolysis. Those metals would then be used to 3D print tools, electronics, and components for ships and buildings. Read more at 3DPrint.com: http://3dprint.com/165652/university...-florida-nasa/