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Photo via NASA
Photo via NASA

The first tool has been made in space, thanks to some quick design work and a 3D printer on the International Space Station.

According to this Medium post, ISS Commander Barry Wilmore mentioned he needed a ratcheting socket wrench. Made in Space, maker of the Zero-G Printer which was launched last September, designed one up and emailed it to ISS: “The socket wrench we just manufactured is the first object we designed on the ground and sent digitally to space, on the fly,” writes Made in Space chief strategy office and co-founder Mike Chen.

It’s a major step in getting tools and supplies to space. If we can email them, instead of loading physical objects onto a rocket and sending them, imagine what we can do. In fact, Chen already is:

When we do set up the first human colonies on the moon, Mars and beyond, we won’t use rockets to bring along everything we need. We’ll build what we need there, when we need it.

Watch the launch of the printer here:

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