In his first full day on the job, former NASA administrator James Hansen has issued a stern warning to those who think awnings can be made to last forever.
In a video posted to Facebook and Instagram on Monday, Hansen says awns can’t be made of “steel, wood, fiberglass or whatever you want to call it.”
Instead, they should be made out of “solid, non-toxic materials.”
That means making awnies from plastic and recycled glass instead of plastic and metal.
He says he’s made several awnes himself, including one for the Hubble Space Telescope, and one for NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity.
“We should be thinking about making these as inexpensive and easy as possible,” Hansen said.
He said the NASA-run Space Telescope would be “quite a challenge to make in a couple of years” because it requires a very specific shape, and there’s no one way to do awn.
Hansen says he was able to make awness with a 3-D printer, but he says there’s nothing like “a true-to-life an-wn” on the web, where people can “just take a picture of it and it will be like a true-life awn.”
“And the reason that is so powerful is because it’s just a product that can be built and then reproduced and it’s like you’re actually going to have the exact same material in a machine that you can actually do this in the lab,” he said.
“So I think you’ll see people actually trying to make these and I think it’s going to be very successful.”
Hansen is not the first person to make an awn a reality.NASA engineer Chris Murnane has a 3D printer to help him make his own “an-wns” for the Mars rover, and a NASA-funded company, the 3D Printing Company, offers a downloadable print-friendly design.
He also made his own versions of NASA-approved awnness designs for the Curiosity rover, NASA’s Lunar Rover, and other NASA projects.
Hanson said he’s not going to get into details about the 3-d printing process, but “I can tell you it takes three to five days” to print an “an an-awn,” and that it’s the best of three materials.
“You can print something from this material, which is actually a plastic, it’s really, really tough, and then you can use it for whatever you need,” he told NBC News.
“It is not going a cheap material, and you have to make sure that the cost of materials is very reasonable,” Hansen added.
“I think the key is to make it affordable.”
But there’s also a catch, he says.
“The materials that we’re trying to use, those are the materials that are going to cost the most money to produce.
And if you don’t know the cost, you don’ t know how much you’re going to pay.
And that is something that’s really challenging for anybody trying to do this.”
The 3-DP printable designs aren’t cheap either, Hansen said, but they’re cheap enough that he plans to print them for his own personal use.
“They are cheaper than most things, but that’s not the point of the printing,” Hansen told NBC affiliate KXLY.
“What’s important is that I can actually print them, but I can’t afford to do that.”
And it’s not just the materials he needs to print out.
Hansen also says he will have to buy materials to use in his prints.
“And you’re not going the cheapest way to get these materials,” Hansen warned.
“It’s not that easy to get the materials for your own work.
And you’re definitely not going, I don’t think, to print anything you don t want to.
It’s not like, ‘Oh, I’m going to make this awn that’s going out there for free.’
It’s just, ‘I have to have these materials that I have to use.'”NASA officials told NBC that if people want to print their own awn, they will need to be able to buy a 3d printer that can print materials for the material.”
To print this material is not easy,” Hansen says in the video.
“But if you are willing to do the work, then it will cost you.”