'One small nibble for man': 3D printer makes meat in space

"This keystone of human achievement in space follows Yuri Gagarin's success of becoming the first man to journey into outer space, and Neil Armstrong's 50th anniversary this year, celebrating the moment when the first man walked on space".

The feat was made possible by researchers who take cells from a cow and provide them with nutrients under a controlled environment that simulates the muscle-tissue regeneration process occurring inside the animal's body.

This was an experimental project that was conducted aboard the Russian section of the International Space Station (ISS) on September 26.

The proof of concept was established by assembling a small-scale muscle tissue in a three-dimensional bioprinter developed by Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions.

The Israeli food tech company, which developed a method of growing cultivated beef steaks using animal cells, said it has succeeded in producing meat on the International Space Station, 248 miles away from Earth. But unlike the plant-based formulas pioneered by companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, Aleph Farms specializes in "cell-grown" meat, which not only tastes like meat, but is also chemically identical to real flesh.

The efforts of Aleph Farms for producing "slaughter-free meat in space" is described to be due to climate change, the report said citing a press release by the firm.

He said that in an unusual environment such as space, "we don't have 10,000 or 15,000 litres of water available to produce 1kg of beef". "This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come, while preserving our natural resources".

The company harvested cow cells on Earth before launching them to the ISS. Last December, it successfully produced a "strip steak" in a lab in just two weeks.

As per the co-founder and chief executive of Aleph Farms, Didier Toubia: "'We are proving that cultivated meat can be produced anytime, anywhere, in any condition". The company said it was in talks with several restaurant chains about introducing its products to regular consumers as soon as 2021.