Producing food in space is easier than taking it from Earth. Various projects are therefore dealing with this topic, meanwhile, the Israeli company Aleph Farms artificially produced slaughter-free meat in the space for the first time. The food-tech startup used a bioprinter from 3D Bioprinting Solutions to produce a piece of meat from living cells.
The experiment was successfully carried out on 26 September in the Russian section of the International Space Station and served as proof of concept.
In a 3D bioprinter, cells taken from living animals are assembled into muscle tissue. The technique replicates the process of muscle regeneration occurring naturally in the cow’s body, just in artificial conditions. The company says this is the first time that meat (a piece of cow muscle tissue) is grown under microgravity conditions.
The goal is to produce safe meat using minimum resources anytime, anywhere, said Prof. Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion University. The project also involved the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions and the US companies Meal Source Technologies and Finless Foods.
Also on Earth, Aleph Farms aims to eventually offer healthier, superior quality meat with the taste, texture, and structure exactly the same as those of the traditional meat. They believe this could solve humanity’s greatest challenges today, including climate change and food shortages.
Additionally, this could be particularly helpful for astronauts, especially meat-eating astronauts, to enjoy a beefsteak on long space trips.