As you might imagine, the group where I work at the Museum is full of lots of self-proclaimed science geeks who are as excited as me that ComicCon is coming to town THIS AFTERNOON. So you can imagine our delight when our Communications Department asked for our assistance working the official AMNH booth to use 3D printers to promote our new space show: Dark Universe. We’ve been focusing so much on printing paleontological items these past few months, it was great to get to turn our attention to space!
First, here’s something about the new show:
Below are some objects we found on Thingiverse (which means they were made by others and shared with the world for anyone to print) and will be showing and talking about at the booth. Various Museum educators will be there to explain the significance behind the objects, which visitors will be able to pick up and explore, and I asked one, Brian Levine, to explain them to us. Here’s what he had to say:
NASA’s Stardust Mission (in 3D) collected particles from a comet in blocks of aerogel and sent them back to earth. AMNH has received some of these particles from NASA and are analyzing the 3D tracks that the particles made. This will help us understand the variety of particles that came off the comet (in a non-destructive way).
The red and white rovers are all copies of NASA/s Mars Science Lab, Curiosity (in 3D), which has been active on Mars since last August. It is currently looking for signs of life, testing soil samples, and sending tweets to all of its fans.
The Space Shuttle (in 3D), unfortunately discontinued, carried pieces of the International Space Station, the Galileo Space Craft (which will be in our new space show), the Hubble Space Telescope, and much more.
The balls are all Mars (in 3D), exaggerated 50X to emphasize the surface features, such as Olympus Mons, which reaches into very thin atmosphere, and Valles Marineris, which is deeper and wider than the Grand Canyon and the biggest gorge in the solar system.
Visitors to the booth will be able to watch Mars balls printing in 3D, and a few lucky folks will get to take home their own copy. If you are there this weekend, please come by and say hi!