Matt Damon makes for a resourceful castaway in The Martian—no doubt about that—but he might have had a little easier time of it if he had brought along a 3D printer. A doctor in Toronto is making that case for if and when an actual manned mission to Mars materializes.
"We can't take all the surgical supplies we want with us on a Mars mission," Julielynn Wong, MD, explained to the Toronto Star in an article that was published today online. "With current technology, a one-way rocket to the planet lasts eight months, and most scenarios for a human expedition span at least two years. Unnecessary supplies create unwanted weight, and missing equipment cannot be sent for months," said Wong. The solution is a solar-powered 3D printer.