A 3D printer was used for successfully producing meat on the International Space Station. The bioprinter produced beef, rabbit, and fish tissue by relying on magnetic fields in microgravity. New details were given by a Russian company medical technology company that made the experiment happen.
The experiment is a collective collaboration that includes US, Russian, and Israeli companies. It was taken out by cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka in September. The experiment took place in the stations’ Russian segment while using a 3D printer that was produced in Moscow. The creators have declared that it is the first bioprinter to develop a small quantity of artificial meat up in space.
Yusef Khesuani of 3D Bioprinting Solutions – the Russian laboratory the makers of the bioprinter – said, ‘It’s one small nibble for man, one giant bite for mankind.’ The laboratory was established by Invitro – an enormous Russian private medicine company. The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, partly funded the experiment under the banner of national interest.
Nikolai Burdeiny, who is the executive director of the state space corporation, including Roscosmos, said, ‘It was really a breakthrough both for Roscosmos and Russia as a whole.’ Khesuani said, ‘For us, it was the first experience of international scientific collaboration in space. Thank God the experiment went successfully… All the cells showed a good result in space.’
For deep space missions, the current techniques of food storage and transport won’t serve. That is why cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko said, ‘If we’re going to fly further from Earth to other planets in the solar system, we can’t take that volume of food with us. In any case, we will have to grow and produce food onboard the spaceship. I think progress is developing very quickly, science and knowledge, and I think this will be within our lifetimes.’
Khesuani says that they would need more complicated equipment as opposed to the printer they have right now if they want to create bigger amounts of meat in space. He said, ‘Then we can create not just small objects but big ones, made of a large mass of cells. I hope we will continue these experiments.’