Taking the first step in what NASA hopes will become a key part of future long-term space journeys, engineers have created the first 3D printed object in space.

Using a 3D printer that was installed on the International Space Station on Nov. 17, NASA built a faceplate for the printer itself.

Creating the faceplate, which was made of plastic, gives engineers hope that 3D printers can one day be used to build everything from spare parts to tools and even food onboard the space station, as well as on deep space flights to asteroids and Mars.

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