On the back of the first vegetables grown in Mars replicant soil is now space meat, or 3D bioprinted "space beef" to be precise.
Aleph Farms is an Israeli based food company that has performed the first trial of growing lab-grown meat in space with success. The process involves growing a full-sized steak from just a few cow cells in a lab on the International Space Station (ISS), by simulating the cow's natural healing process.
Aleph Farms used a combination of Russian 3D Bioprinting Solutions hardware and United States-based food companies to test the method in space.
The method is not too different from regular printing, except instead of traditional ink a specialised mix of animal cells and growth agents are printed in layers to create the desired effect. In this instance, slaughter-free beef.
Strangely enough, the process happens much faster in zero gravity. Earth's gravity is constantly pulling the 3D printed material down, whilst in space, the floating material can be layered from virtually any angle.
The reasoning behind the move to produce sustainable and environmentally friendly meat in space is to combat the massive amounts of water and energy resources required to farm livestock on Earth. These demands on the environment create a significant impact on climate change and devastate natural habitats.
The process, also requiring very little water, is the most promising means of creating large scale food production from the most minimal of resources.
Aleph Farms have provided a dramatic video on their vision after the successful meat trial which can be seen below.
Could we see large scale space beef farms in the future?
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