Austin Company to Create 3-D Pizzas for Astronauts

Photo courtesy of NASA

Photo courtesy of NASA

Will astronauts be eating 3-D printed pizza on Mars?
That might not be as far fetched as it sounds.
NASA has contacted with Systems & Materials Research Corp. to explore using a 3D printer to create diner on space missions.
NASA has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract worth $125,000 to the Austin-based company.
“This food printing technology may result in a phase II study, which still will be several years from being tested on an actual space flight,” according to NASA.
NASA needs a better food supply to attempt a mission to mars, which would require food with a five-year shelf life.
“Additionally, the current space food is selected before astronauts ever leave the ground and crew members don’t have the ability to personalize recipes or really prepare foods themselves,” according to NASA. “Over long duration missions, a variety of acceptable food is critical to ensure crew members continue to eat adequate amounts of food, and consequently, get the nutrients they need to maintain their health and performance.”
The 3-D Printing movement has just begun to take hold in the U.S. as the printers have become cheaper and the technology more precise.
“The 3D printing component will deliver macronutrients (starch, protein, and fat), structure, and texture while the ink jet will deliver micronutrients, flavor, and smell,” according to Systems & Materials Research’s proposal.

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