A good steak, a small fragment of synthetic meat, was printed in Space for the first time. Without falling into easy enthusiasm, it could be a step that opens the doors to the self-sufficiency of the crews if they really manage to launch into the complicated and mysterious missions in deep space. Beyond comfort, so to speak, of the low Earth orbit and the International Space Station.
Meanwhile, the record: to mark it is a device of the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions used by an astronaut in the Russian sector of the ISS. He designed a piece of meat in a 3D printing machine, as one does in the ground for some time now, but precisely in conditions of microgravity.
The Israeli company Aleph Farms conducted the experiment last September 26 together with a couple of other US names dealing with food tech: the technique used replicates the muscle-generating mechanisms of bovine muscles, but in artificial conditions and, in the spatial case, with a more rapid maturation as the growth is homogeneous on each side of the synthetic meat.
This is obviously not a technology for mass production but, according to what Yoav Reisler of Aleph explained to Space.com, there are plans to build “biofacts” on Earth and try to organize something much bigger and in ladder.
“Growing organs and tissues printed in 3D in zero gravity is a faster process than on Earth, the fabric is printed simultaneously on all sides as if producing a snowball, while we usually proceed layer by layer. If on Earth the cells are conducted downwards in zero gravity they interfere with each other floating in Space and allow us to create tissues only with cellular materials, without other intermediate supports”Yoav Reisler
The dough, if one can say so, would seem to be even more “natural” than the procedures followed on Earth.
But in this case, it is for the astronauts that the goal could make the difference. The synthetic meat, obtained without killing any animal but starting from a few bovine cells, could allow them to do at least a little less than the freeze-dried foods and the preparations they eat and, thanks to these “food typographies”, acquire more proteins, especially in situations where the loss of mass and muscle tone would be extreme if not fatal.
Water, food, energy, surface: the meat grown in laboratory boasts a series of advantages also on Earth that range from the reduction of CO2 production to, precisely, the “portability” of unimaginable distances for galactic enterprises.
“Our planet is on fire and there is no time – concludes the manager – our main objective is to make sure that the same blue planet remains even for the next generations”.
He is echoed by Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms: “During Space explorations we do not have 10 or 15 thousand liters of water to produce a kilo of meat – he added – this collaborative experiment marks a significant first step in our perspective to ensure food security for the next generations defending natural resources “.
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