#1186: Onthefly

In future, when travelling between solar systems, astronauts will need spacestations and other equipment for colonisation and life support.

Rather than attempt to take this stuff with them, at huge cost, space travellers will need to take only a very large tube of adhesive.

Today’s invention is to skirt interstellar dustclouds, harvest this material (over a long time) and then use desktop manufacturing techniques to assemble structural components needed for repairs or landings, as needed, whilst in flight.

The dust might be bonded together into useful material (with locally optimised density and strength) via a combination of home-bought epoxy and pressure moulding processes (using the spacecraft internal pressure vs the vacuum of space).

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