News / Science & Technology

Future Astronauts Could Print Food

A schematic diagram shows how a 3D printer for food would work. (Credit: SMRC)
A schematic diagram shows how a 3D printer for food would work. (Credit: SMRC)

Related Articles

Earth, Moon Share Water Source

Research raises questions about formation of Moon

Video Moon Hit By Largest Meteoroid Impact in 8 Years

Flash was nearly 10 times as bright as anything ever seen before

Astronomers Awaiting Comet ISON's Year-End Spectacular

Celestial rock and ice formation expected to bedazzle enthusiasts with long, luminous tail
Astronauts on future missions to Mars may be able to dial up a pizza via a 3D printer.

NASA announced it awarded a $125,000 grant to Systems & Materials Research Corporation’s Anjan Contractor, who has already designed the printer.

The head of the printer will be fed with a combination of nutrients, water, oils and flavors, which can be sprayed, layer by layer to create three dimensional food.

The base ingredients could have a shelf life of up to 30 years.

The first test: printing a pizza.

According to a proposal posted on the NASA website in March, “the 3D printing component will deliver macronutrients [starch, protein, and fat], structure, and texture while the ink jet will deliver micronutrients, flavor, and smell.”

“Using unflavored macronutrients, such as protein, starch and fat, the sustenance portion of the diet can be rapidly produced in a variety of shapes and textures directly from the 3D printer [already warm],” according to the proposal.

The biggest advantage to 3D food printing, NASA says, is that there is no waste.

According to the NASA proposal, printing food could have applications beyond space.

Citing projections of the world’s population reaching 12 billion by the end of the century, NASA said “current infrastructure of food production and supply will not be able to meet the demand of such a large population.”

“By exploring and implementing technologies such as 3D printing, this may avoid food shortage, inflation, starvation, famine and even food wars,” reads the proposal.

NASA said the military could also benefit from 3D food technology because it would “reduce military logistics, disposal waste, increase operational efficiency and mission effectiveness especially during wartime.”

Furthermore, submarines and aircraft carriers could benefit from lowered downtime to refill supplies.

You May Like

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: CrygDyllyn from: USA
May 23, 2013 4:30 AM
Besides vitamins, there are thousands of micronutrients that are needed for health. We do not know all the micronutrients, and we don't know the diet requirements of the ones we know about.

I question whether this technology can really displace real food.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid