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Printing a pizza may be in the future
May 24, 2013 - Art Smith
NASA has brought us a lot of cools things over the years: Velcro, Tang and the tiny electronics that make laptop possible to name a few. Soon though it may also be able to bring you pizza.
For astronauts to go to far away places, you have to feed them. With the cost of sending one pound into space costing as much as a good used car, the space agency is looking at ways to print food by using a special 3-D printer.
Using compressed nutrients instead of ink, the printer literally would print the food to order.
This is not science fiction; in fact a prototype is expected to be built within two years.
3D printers that print objects, not food, are starting to hit the mainstream. They are still expensive, but so was the first VCR. They can be great to print custom parts and small objects. One is going to be placed on the International Space Station in the next few years. Shipping to low earth orbit makes the idea of printing needed parts on site very cost effective.
The idea of printing food may not sound very appetizing to many. Astronauts are a tough group though. They already strap a giant missile on their backs and allow it to be shot into space. Eating mac and cheese that came out of a tank doesn’t sound all that bad. Chefs on earth could whip up new dishes and transmit them to rockets traveling millions of miles away.
NASA’s thinking is it may not have a choice; there isn’t exactly a Kroger on the way to Mars.
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