WASHINGTON - Sailors from the Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman have come up with a design that has been blasted off into outer space.
The "TruClip" is an item used to repair hand radios used on ships. It was created in the fabrication lab on the Truman during the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center's 2016 Fleet Design Challenge, also known as Project Apollo.
"We have a part called the TruClip," explained Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Readiness and Logistics. "It was designed by three Sailors on the Truman, half a world away on deployment. This part they designed has been digitally sent to us so that we can send it to the International Space Station. Even though these are small steps, it's kind of a giant leap for everyone."
On June 21, a Technical Data Package (TDP) containing a 3-D blueprint of the "TruClip" was transferred from Washington, D.C. to the International Space Station (ISS).
It's one of the first files to be sent to the ISS and 3-D printed in space.
The Navy believes they will soon be able to scan something with a smartphone, create a 3-D model and then print a replica within a matter of hours.
That will help improve life on ships, decrease reliance on outside sources and improve cost-efficiency of the Navy.