What seems like something straight out of a sci-fi film is becoming reality if scientists at NASA have any say.
The space agency has given $125,000 in funding to Texas-based Systems and Materials Research Corp. to develop a 3-D printer that will create “nutritious and flavourful” food suitable for astronauts, according to a report.
The printers will combine powders to produce food that has the structure, texture and smell of real food using what the company calls a "digital recipe".
The printer is still in the concept stages, with the hope to develop it by the end of the year using NASA’s grant.
The idea would be to replace the current offering of pre-packaged food astronauts eat that aren't flavourful, nutritious or interesting due to lack of choice.
It is thought the 3-D printed food could be tailored to each individual astronaut’s nutritional needs, thereby offering a greater variety of choice. The latter would make a world of difference for someone cooped up in a capsule in another world, or planet for that matter.
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To view the chocolate printer prototype that helped Systems and Materials Research Corp. earn a grant from NASA, see video below: