Astronaut grows beef in space

The experiment was led by Israeli startup Aleph Farms with support from Russian biotech company 3D Bioprinting Solutions and USA -based Meal Source Technologies and Finless Foods.

Israeli clean meat startup Aleph Farms, which unveiled the world's first slaughter-free steak grown from animal cells late previous year, says it has conducted a most unusual experiment to make its meat product on the International Space Station (ISS) some 248 miles (339 km) away.

For the first time ever, meat was created in space - but no animals were harmed in the making of this 3D bioprinted "space beef".

Aleph Farms' production method of cultivated beef steaks relies on mimicking a natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration occurring inside the cow's body, but under controlled conditions.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly (R) and Kjell Lindgren taste vegetables grown in space on the International Space Station in 2015. The tissue is very small (just 1.5 millimeters across), but this marks an important proof of concept, showing that the futuristic meat can also be grown in space. Bioprinting is a process in which biomaterials, like animal cells, are mixed with growth factors and the material "bioink", and "printed" into a layered structure. That's right. Meat has been bioprinted in space.

The team used a technique called 3D bioprinting - essentially, 3D printing biological cells. "Maturing of bioprinted organs and tissues in zero gravity proceeds much faster than in Earth gravity conditions".

Aleph Farms' lab-grown steak.

Lab-grown meat could be the key to feeding a growing world population in the future.

On Earth, only certain Bovine cells were amassed.

In an historic report published on the 10th of September 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the United Nations, has emphasized the integral contribution of the conventional animal farming methods on climate change, creating "a challenging situation worse and undermining food security".

The reasoning behind Aleph Farm's efforts to produce "slaughter-free meat in space", as the company describes it, is because of climate change, according to a press release sent by the company to

"Our planet is on fire and we have no other one today".

Didier Toubia, CEO of Aleph Farms, said: "We are working on a new method to produce the same meat, but in a way that uses less than half of the greenhouse gases". However, Aleph's Yoav Reisler said that the company planned to build on the experiment and make synthetic beef steaks available on terra firma using large-scale "bio-farms".