An Israeli startup will grow meat in space to improve the quality of food for astronauts. They have already conducted preliminary tests on the ISS, and now they plan to produce food on other planets.
Aleph Farms, a startup that is working on an alternative to breeding and slaughtering cattle, has unveiled a concept for creating meat in space. “We believe that when people live on several planets, the issue of providing nutritious meat will become even more acute,” the company said.
In the second half of 2020, Aleph Farms has already become the first company to grow meat on the International Space Station (ISS), located 404 km from natural resources. The cells were grown into small muscle tissue using a 3D bioprinter. A preliminary demonstration showed that a small amount of meat can be grown in this way, and it turns out to be tasteless.
On Earth, this process is slower, as it is limited by gravity: meat grows only in thin layers, and the conditions of the planet do not allow accelerating the process. In the ISS environment, where gravity is much less, muscle tissue grows in all directions.
“On the moon, just going to the grocery store won’t work. It sounds funny, but this is one of the main problems of a person who finds himself in deep space. It is very expensive to deliver food there, and many astronauts complain about the quality of the food, especially those who have been working on ships for a long time. We offer solutions to these problems. ”
Didier Toubia, creator of Aleph Farms
Earlier, the experiment with meat production, which took place on the ISS, lasted about a week. Now experts want to expand the range of products to rabbit and fish meat. The company also wants to unite with partners – they plan to produce a large amount of artificial meat, but for this, additional equipment needs to be brought to the station.
Scientists on Earth now use bioreactors to grow cellular meat, and the devices can be used both on the ISS and in space. Also, 3D Bioprinting Solutions specialists plan to use bioreactors, which are on foreign segments of the space station.