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Astronauts share a meal in th eInternational Space Station. Image credit NASA

NASA Funds 3D Food Printers

Video Source: GeoBeats Youtube Channel

NASA has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to Systems and Materials Research Consultancy of Austin, Texas to study the feasibility of using 3D printing for making food in space. Systems and Materials Research Consultancy will conduct a study for the development of a 3D printed food system for long duration space missions.

The food printed will be far from stale blocks of nutrients. The 3D printing component will deliver macronutrients (starch, protein, and fat), structure, and texture while the ink jet will deliver micronutrients, flavor, and smell. The 3D printing system will provide hot and quick food in addition to personalized nutrition, flavor and taste. The company behind this system also believes by “exploring and implementing technologies such as 3D printing, this may avoid food shortage, inflation, starvation, famine and even food wars”.

This product is another example of how NASA related ventures funded for space flight can effect non space related consumers around the world.

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