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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid