October 21, 2014 Alison Mehesz

Made In Space Zero-G 3D Printer Shares “Golden” History with Voyager Missions

Legendary space artist Jon Lomberg provided artwork for the first ever zero gravity 3D printer.

Mountain View, California – October 21, 2014 – Gold and platinum records are well known metrics of success in the music industry but there is one “golden record” that stands out in our history as a tribute to science, exploration, and hope. The Voyager Golden Record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images portraying the diversity of life and culture on Earth, is currently flying through interstellar space, riding on the Voyager I spacecraft to destinations unknown. Despite the odds, the Golden Record, along with a duplicate aboard Voyager II, could serve as humanity’s first greeting card and its very existence could show the inherently positive outlook of our species.

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The cover of the Golden Record which was designed by Jon Lomberg and Frank Drake to last over a thousand million years may be both the farthest flung and longest lived piece of human art ever made.

Carl Sagan, who chaired the committee that selected the contents of the Golden Record for NASA, opined, “the spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilizations in interstellar space. But the launching of this ‘bottle’ into the cosmic ‘ocean’ says something very hopeful about life on this planet.” As Carl Sagan’s principle artist, Jon Lomberg, along with Frank Drake, designed the cover of the record as well as many of images recorded on the disk itself.

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Jon Lomberg

Jon Lomberg is without question the preeminent space artist and the world’s most experienced designer in creating messages for other times and other beings. From artwork on far-reaching probes like Voyager and New Horizons to sun dials on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. It is a rare privilege for Made In Space to work with him on yet another milestone in space history; artwork on the the first manufacturing device in space.

“It is an honor to work with Made In Space on this historic achievement which signals the beginning of a new era in fabrication off Earth,” said Jon Lomberg. “Can the Star Trek ‘ replicator’ be far behind? In the immortal words of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, ‘Tea, Earl Grey, hot.’”

The Golden Plate designed by Jon Lomberg was attached to the Zero-Gravity 3D Printer prior to its launch to the space station.

Jon Lomberg created The Golden Plate for Made In Space, with symbolic imagery that represents not only the work being done by Made In Space but also the individual people within NASA and Made In Space responsible for the development of the printer itself. The plate commemorates individuals like Pete Worden, NASA Ames Center Director as well as major contributing members in NASA MSFC and principal engineers at Made In Space.

“It has been an honor to work with these young men and women over the years through their interactions with Ames,” said Worden. “NASA’s partnership with Made In Space exemplifies how NASA is advancing the nation’s priorities to develop advanced manufacturing technologies.”

 

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The Golden Plate was attached to the printer internally so that it would be visible from the front viewing window

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Attached inside the chassis of the zero-G printer, the Golden Plate rode the SpaceX CRS-4 rocket up to the International Space Station on September 21st, 2014. There it will become part of history as it is involved in the printing of the very first object ever manufactured off of Earth as well as every subsequent part printed on the zero gravity printer.

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