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NASA developing 3D printer 'food replicator'

Posted on Friday, 24 May, 2013 | Comment icon 6 comments

Image credit: NASA

$125,000 has been given to NASA for the development of a device capable of producing 3D printed food.

In a concept not dissimilar to the food replicators in Star Trek, scientists at the US space agency are attempting to build a printer device that can produce edible food for use on long space voyages. Such a system would compliment or even replace the standard food rations astronauts currently use on the International Space Station.

To create the food, the system will use an inkjet printer to handle the flavor and smell and a 3D printer to handle the main bulk of the food's mass. While it is unlikely to solve world hunger, what it will do is help open the door to longer missions and make it possible to take just the raw materials along instead of needing a large stockpile of prepackaged meals.

"The challenges are multifold – not least among them producing something palatable out of a printer – but the idea is that with enough development, NASA might be able to come up with something that beats the current rations sent to places like the International Space Station."

  View: Full article |  Source: The Register

  Discuss: View comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by readerlurker on 24 May, 2013, 12:31
I'll have a medium Pepperoni, extra cheese, no anchovies.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Dark_Grey on 24 May, 2013, 14:24
$125,000 doesn't seem like much of a budget for something like this. How much did NASA spend designing that special "space pen"?
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer on 24 May, 2013, 14:42
Unless it can make Earl grey, hot, it'll never catch on.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ashven on 24 May, 2013, 15:15
I hope they do this in my lifetime
Comment icon #5 Posted by equus hemionus on 24 May, 2013, 22:55
After all the fuss over pink slime, I wonder what the raw material used for printing will be.
Comment icon #6 Posted by minera on 30 May, 2013, 16:03
the money is nothing. It would hardly impact my mortgage if I used it to put a payment on it. Come on they give other groups particularly military more than that. They can do better than that.

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