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Mice live roughly up to two years. Send them to the International Space Station for 6 months, and you can potentially tell the effects space has on a mammal over a quarter of its life; information that could inform future missions to Mars and other distant planets. NASA is currently working on housing for the “mousetronauts,” as Elon Musk likes to call them, and plans to send them to the ISS later this year on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

In Brief

When I tried the 3Doodler 3D printing pen last year, it was fun but seemed kind of useless. The video below, which was noted by 3Ders.org, might just change my mind. Aerial cinematographer and maker Matt Quest depicts how he used a 3DAirPen to build the body of a tiny drone that looks much like the DJI Phantom. He then attaches propellers and electronics and flies it off into the distance.

In Brief

An American prop maker’s efforts to make a prosthetic hand for a South African carpenter has since grown into the Robohand project, which 3D prints affordable robotic hands for those who can’t spend thousands on a more traditional prosthetic. Robohand announced today on its Facebook page that it is now branching into prosthetic legs. The current prototype combines 3D printed joints with metal rods, which are more suited to weight support.

Robohand prosthetic leg

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In Brief

A new competition challenges entrants to race teeny-tiny rovers 29.5 feet across the moon’s surface in a “Lunar Iditarod.” The rovers will first compete on Earth, after which the best will be shipped to the moon sometime in late 2015 with a ticket bought by cloud computing company RevUp Render. The twist? All of the rovers will be doge themed (known as “DogeSleds”) and competitors must pay their entrance fee in Dogecoin. Woof.

In Brief

The Micro, a tiny desktop 3D printer touted as friendly to beginners, closed its campaign on Kickstarter today with just north of $3.4 million. Backers snapped up thousands of the printer, which was offered for less than $300. The Form 1, a higher-end desktop 3D printer that uses a rival technology, held the previous Kickstarter record for 3D printers with nearly $3 million.

In Brief

Lix, a 3D printing pen that looks promising simply due to the fact that it actually resembles a pen, opened its Kickstarter campaign to backers this morning. Seven hours in, it has already passed its goal of around $50,000 by raising more than $87,000. The pen is available at a discounted price of $70 for the duration of the campaign.

In Brief

4 AXYZ, which plans to use additive manufacturing to make relatively affordable custom furniture and accessories out of high-quality wood, launched a campaign on Indiegogo today. 4 AXYZ hopes to raise $1 million to go toward research and development and the purchase of a $1.5 million machine it needs to begin making furniture. Backers can choose between items like photo frames and dining sets, but 4 AXYZ also plans to eventually offer electronics-studded furniture that would bring increased connectivity to households.

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