3-D Dinner is Served!   54 comments

Extreme Dinner is Served!

Growing food

How do we grow food in space?!! This is one of our most prevalent challenges, although it may well become an even bigger one here on Earth if we cannot figure out how to grow enough on the home world to feed our ever-expanding population!

Launching supplies into space is, of course, costly. So the ultimate aim for any long-duration interplanetary trip or long-term human presence on the surface of Mars would be to develop sustainable food cultivation techniques.


Extreme Gardening on Mars

Future Gardening on Mars may yet become a reality with the European Research Project MELiSSA on track to grow vegetables on the Red Planet. MELiSSA is an ESA project which “strongly promotes the implementation of space research based innovations on Earth via Industry.” Initially vegetables will be grown from seeds in a closed Earth system, later progressing to growing on the Moon. The first Martian vegetables will be grown in a Mars-bound spacecraft and if all goes to plan the ultimate planting and growing on Mars will follow.

marsveg_vasi.netNurturing vegetation and growing crops in such a hostile environment as space is fraught with difficulties and would involve a high degree of human ingenuity and new science. It would also require an intense and complex support system in order to succeed. In particular there is also the question of drinking water production, nutrients and crop cultivation techniques which will also require research.

If this plan does succeed, the new technologies and science necessary to achieve it could also be put to good use back on Earth, to develop land around the world which is not at this time suitable for food cultivation. This could provide a much needed lifeline to those countries where many of their citizens are starving, and also be of overall benefit in feeding our ever expanding population in general.

"Also companies on Earth can benefit from the space research. For instance, new energy efficient light systems can be developed and commercialized for growing plants in green houses." ~ Prof. Benedikt Sas from the Centre of Excellence Food2Know.

China to Grow Mars Veg’

SpaceFoodMarsGreenhouseState media in China have reported Chinese astronauts are preparing to grow fresh vegetables on the Moon and Mars. A successful test held in Beijing was conducted and completed for research purposes, consisting of four different vegetable types. Growing in an "ecological life support system" which relies on plants and algae this environment would create an opportunity for fresh, home-grown vegetables to be harvested for healthy, nutritious meals.

“Chinese astronauts may get fresh vegetables and oxygen supplies by gardening in extra-terrestrial bases in the future,” ~ Deng Yibing, a researcher at Beijing’s Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Centre quoted by Xinhua news agency.

3-D Printing of food

One potential solution to these issues could be 21st century open-source technology in the form of 3-D printers. Already being used in industry and the arts, 3-D printing looks set to become ‘one of the defining technologies in human space travel and colonization.’

3-D Printing_m.gizmodo.co.uk

So! If you are one of those angry American citizens raging furiously against the changes to your gun laws and the shortage of aforementioned item and plentiful supplies of ammo’ or possibly even a really determined, hard core survivalist then this 3-D printer maybe the revolutionary solution you have been feverishly searching for…just print a nice, shiny new gun and you’re right there in business to exercise your right to bear arms!

But how could the growth of a replenishable source of ‘Martian mushrooms and cosmic cucumbers’ – a healthy stock of crisp, garden-fresh veggies being a vital ingredient in ensuring colonies are in good physical shape – viably be achieved?

A 3-D printer controlled by software recipes, such as the one being developed by researchers at Cornell University, could be the answer to your unappeasable appetite for a nourishing snack.

 3-D printing machine_dobrevijesti.info

Space Pizza!

It’s not quite a vegetable but it is the perfect choice for the first printed to order 3-D printed food; at your heady request it can print off a lovely big space pizza to satisfy even the largest of man-sized appetites!


It would be created by printing the first layer –dough for the pizza base, which will speedily bake on the hot plate it would be deposited on. This would be topped with a combo-layer of powdered tomato puree and oil then yet a further layer – of protein and ideally a blend of all nutrients and minerals required to create a thoroughly healthy pizza! Unheard of though a healthy pizza is, should it become possible it may even be possible to add medications where necessary, via computer commands.

Enter NASA!3_D pizza

NASA has been so enthusiastic about this innovative proposition for a galactic pizza express 😉 that it has approved a $125,000 grant for the development of a “universal food synthesizer,” a prototype dreamed up by mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, of Systems and Materials Research Corporation (SMRC) in Austin, Texas. Based on 3-D printing technology this prototype also has the advantage of eliminating the problem of food waste.

“Long distance space travel requires 15-plus years of shelf life. The way we are working on it is all the carbs, proteins and macro and micro nutrients are in powder form. We take moisture out, and in that form it will last maybe 30 years.” ~ Anjan Contractor


In conclusion

Although this innovative design is currently only at the ideas stage, in the future it could transform the way we conceive food here on Earth. This in-turn may help feed the planet.

“I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently. So we eventually have to change our perception of what we see as food.” ~ Contractor

3-D food_culturewav.esSources: Space.com

Science Daily


54 responses to “3-D Dinner is Served!

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  1. Why now do I find an urge to have some carbs asap!?! Thanks for all the food for thought there Wolfie, have a good week(“-“)

  2. The things in your last picture do not look tasty! The idea of making the pizza is fascinating. It could be the first step to food dispensers in the style of Star Trek!

  3. I’ve just had a random thought of photocopying being used in this 3D printed food idea as well, Icewolf. Imagine being able to get an exact copy of that delicious, nutritious slice of pizza. Mmmm!
    Just had another thought as well, to save money actually. They are going to the trouble to grow food in space, so that they can then use the technology to grow the food in the places on Earth where we currently can’t. Why don’t they practice on Earth first? Just to get a feel of things, and then take a jaunt to the Moon or Mars or wherever with a working model? I should work for these space agencies you know.
    I’m now off to print a couple of Jaffa Cakes, I have that kind of urge. Thanks for another informative post, Icewolf!

    • I have been drooling over that lovely slice of space pizza ever since I first saw it!…How many edible photocopies do you think we’d need?!! I think the copier will be very busy 😉
      Erm…actually although your money saving idea sounds cool…I think the plan is to settle people on other worlds first and foremost…saving the starving left on Earth may well be something of an afterthought!! Lots of good food waiting for you on Mars is likely to be a good incentive for the more reluctant potential settler 🙂
      And since some guys in the US have just figured out how to make 3D copies of top security keys such as in prisons…better keep an extra close eye on that key of yours…in that jar…the one to the pits if hell underneath your manor!!! 🙂

  4. How about a nice scientifically generated beef burger, made from the muscle of a dead cow, doesn’t taste of much have to add saffron bread crumbs and flavour enhancers, BUT will stop all those cows passing wind and destroying the ozone layer, along with feeding the millions of starving! Not keen on Beef burgers to start with but theses do not tempt my appetite a tall, but great to take to Mars just a couple of printer generated buns and you would be away, but where will you get the McFlurry Milk Shake?


    • Oh dear! You’ve been in my spam box all this time! Lucky I don’t get much or I might not have thought to check it – it’s unusual for it to contain anything so sometimes worth a look 🙂
      This is a very fine suggestion! Of course you never know quite what meat it was that went into your “Beef” burger these days, but hey! It will undoubtedly stop something passing wind and destroying the ozone layer whatever it was!! And the millions of starving sure aren’t going to worry about minor details like where the meat actually really came from! However…I think with ever improving 3-D printing techniques I might choose to go with that option on the basis I would be getting the nourishment without the artery blocking fat hopefully! Yes printer generated buns and McFlurry Milk Shake’s sound pretty cool to me 😉 Might have to make it a 3-D printed Martian pizza and Martian Pizza Hut milk shake though lol 😉
      Sorry about the spam box! Very rude and inconsiderate of those Akismet guys…get a grip people!!!! 🙂 xx

  5. all right make mine a vegetarian please; that would sure take care of all those dirty dishes!
    a most interesting and well organized post of current interest. great photos too!
    peaceful journey, Eddie

  6. Wünsche dir einen schönen Tag Danke für die guten Tipps ich mache viel selber und esse kein Fleisch grüße von mir..Gislinde http://zitroneblog.wordpress.com

    • Grüße Gislinde 🙂
      Ich habe endlich da! Vielen Dank für Ihren Kommentar …
      Ihr Blog sieht gut aus;)
      Ich wünsche Ihnen ein schönes Wochenende und ich hoffe, das Leben ist gut für Sie 🙂
      wolfie umarmen 🙂

  7. Somehow Wolfie I lost my appetite… Would sooner go down the allotments on EARTH and plant and grow the old fashioned way, that way At least I get to know what I am eating! even the odd bug or two.. all added protein …
    Why on earth would NASA invest that amount in a product that for me is hinging on plastic! Food..
    Now if ever you want a mean Pizza Wolfie, just give us the howl and I will make you a fresh one.. with fresh dough base the works… And the dough rises so you get a good inch crust… Now that has to beat any 3D layered one… 🙂

    Great post I have to say, and I can see Wolfie you are wagging your tail at this idea of packing up and being the first Wolfie on Mars,, But you only have to do a quick space hop from your Moon Europa… and I saw today on TV news of scientist going underground here in caves saying the micro organisms in the cave salt waters are similar to those under the oceans of Ice on Europa… Amazing what they already know about your Moon… Sure you have not been whispering to them Wolfie 🙂 😉 😀 xxxxx

    Hugs dear friend.. wonderful photos and info… xx Sue

    • Growing our own food is a wonderful thing to do, if, which for many of us, through no fault of our own, it isn’t, we have the option to do so. I think I may have said something like this before Sue, but…whilst I do of course by and large embrace your sentiments re saving the Earth etc, we have to be realistic about the dire situation we’re in. The planet is vastly over-populated and unless we can find a socially and morally acceptable way to control the currently uncontrolled and highly irresponsible, selfish global breeders, the situation is only going to go from bad to crisis point. The Earth can not sustain so many humans draining it’s resources forever, and without adequate land to grow food we cannot survive. Uncontrolled breeders are forcing the need for ever increasing building sites if we are not all to end up living on the streets, reducing the land available for growing the food we need to live, and already thousands are starving and dying around the world because they cannot grow food and feed themselves. The Earth will take care of itself and will still be here long after we are not. It is we who need to be saved…from ourselves! Land is scarce and allotments equally so, with people crying out for them and waiting for years to no avail. Soemthing has to give. Money is not everything and what NASA and others are spending some of it on may just provide us with an alternative means to feed the starving and dying – and that could one day mean us too, or our children, or their children…not a thought most would want to dwell on. Settling on Mars, growing food on other worlds, even printing 3-D food may seem pie in the sky nonsense to many (though a good 50,000+ of us have already signed up to go to Mars, which is very telling in itself), but if it relieved the pressure on the home-world resources, and gave hope of sustenance to the starving around the world, then appetising or not I don’t think on the food front, that they would be that quick to refuse the “plastic food” if the alternative was they and their children starved to death. And if we were to take the lessons we have learned from the mistakes we have made here on Earth, and applied them in a positive way on new worlds, a second chance for those who wanted it could be an opportunity we would be foolish to ignore, especially when it would also be giving Earth the break it so badly needs to repair the damage we have both wittingly and unwittingly inflicted upon it. If we want to survive we have to adapt whether we like it or not! 🙂

      • Phew! now that was a reply! lol, hehe… I agree we need to do something.. But I guess I am old-fashioned in wanting solutions here on Earth.. Now just what year will they be shipping you out to Mars Wolfie? now 50,000+ is some waiting list too.. 🙂 😉 I guess I am a little less optimistic about science taking lessons learned from mistakes made here, when they are still making them.. But I whole-heartedly agree Wolfie, Nature will be here long after we have bit the dust as we seem hell bent on destroying the planet we live upon.. Lets hope our Future generations learn fast… and space travel takes off..Maybe even Time Travel.. now theres a thought.. Speed up that Long voyage out there.. .. but when we have all the correct elements here for perfect survival I have serious doubts about Mars in her less then friendly atmosphere….

        Sending you a Big BIG HUG my dear Wolfie, as I pull your waggy tail… and Sending special thoughts of healing to your Mum.. Hugs Sue xox

      • Well….back before the internet was born who would ever have thought we would be instant messaging, skypeing, blogging, etc etc etc??? Had it been suggested it would have likely have provoked a not so disimilar reaction to that attached to our settling Mars one day 🙂 Impossible and slightly ridiculous!!! But life without it is unthinkable now and it is progressing all the time. Life on Earth will become a lot harsher in the long term with an ever increasing number of humans using up it’s resources if we don’t move some of us elsewhere and allow the planet enough leeway to provide food etc for those that stay. It’s going to be a tough, hard ride whichever way you look at it! Thanks for your thoughtful comment, and I hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂 Wolfie hugs xx

  8. That is so cool! Gardening on mars, it does make sense 🙂 I am always learning about more spacely information when I visit you, I love it !

    • I’m so glad you agree! There does seem to be a lot of negativity about this idea and I really cannot see why! It could provide us with a lot of solutions to our overcrowded, starving world in times to come 🙂

  9. Danke liebe Wolfie für deinen lieben Besuch bei mir hat mich sehr gefreut.Wünsche dir ein gutes Wochenende und alles liebe Gruß und Freundschaft.Gislinde

  10. Wow 3D food, including pizza and some strange looking blobs on a plate, I am not sure whether we should be jumping up and down with joy or running for cover, oh and I don’t think that I would like the gardening experience either, well unless I were watching you while I sat eating the last REAL strawberries and drinking a glass of AUTHENTIC Champagne 🙂 Of course I would save you some, maybe even let you have a strawberry all to yourself if you are a good little Icywolfy 😉 🙂 lol

    Seriously though, I can see that we will definitely need some kind of Astro-Foods to keep us all going as the population increases, I know that the last year on Earth has been another baby boom, which just goes to show how boring the TV is getting these days, not that I watch a lot of it, oh no I have much better ideas *hey watch it* lmao

    I think that we should jet off into Space and take a look around, maybe we will find a Moon filled with vegetation or a Nebula treat of chocolate filled cupcakes, a nice array of strawberry delights and possibly even a few ice creams to nibble on whilst watching Mars and Saturn on the way back to Earth I mean 🙂 My treat of course 🙂

    Have a very nice rest of weekend Icywolfy and
    thank you for adding this fine posting, it is brilliant 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    • Well of course you wouldn’t like the gardening experience!! Lazy Vampy!!! lol 😉 Ah! So the baby boom was down to boring tv? There was silly Icewolfie thinking it was an excuse created by the recession…after all the poorer you are the more you should breed right? Yes…great philosphy 😉 I can well imagine what your “better ideas” means too!!!
      I do like your thoughts on why we should jet off into space…choc filled cupcakes…strawberry delights…ice creams…ummm!!! Jetting off into space with a Vampy sounds pretty enticing actually!!! 🙂

  11. Hello! I wish you a successful new week.

  12. Merhaba benim özel ve güzel arkadaşım Buz 🙂
    bende seni çok özledim…hoşgeldin
    teşekkür ederim ben iyiyim 🙂
    sen nasılsın?
    evet çok büyük ingiliz şair ve yazar
    William Shakespeare
    şiiri gercekten muhteşem severek
    sayfamda yayınlamaktan gurur duydum
    benim güzel arkadaşıma iyi geceler diliyorum
    çok kucak dolusu sevgiler senin için 🙂

  13. Hej Wolfie…
    Ja visst är det fint att backa tillbaka till Maj månad lol…
    och ja visst var hästarna fina jag tyckte dom var ovanliga och något nytt därför fotograferade jag dom..
    Ha en härlig vecka nu wolfie Kram Nicki

    • Hej Nicki
      Jo det i september nu! Och sommaren är racing till ett slut med en sista värmebölja
      Jag hoppas du har ytterligare fotografiska påminnelser om lyckligare dagar i sommar
      som vi fart in i tidig höst 🙂
      Kram Wolfie 🙂

  14. Wünsche dir einen wunderschönen Tag liebe Grüße von mir ich hoffe das es dir gut geht.Grüße und Freundschaft.Gislinde

    • Vielen Dank Gislinde 🙂
      Ich muss einen Blick auf Sie und sehen, ob ich nach Ihrem neuen Blog bin
      Viele Updates für Menschen in der letzten Zeit versteckt!
      Der Sommer ist fast vorbei und es ist immer noch 30 Grad Celsius hier in UK!
      Wünsche dir einen schönen sonnigen Tag in Köln auch 🙂

  15. I thought that there might have been a meteor posting,
    nooooo not a meatier… I said meteor… Cheeky 🙂 😉 lol

    Have a Wicked Hump Day Icywolfy 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    • Thank you Witty one 🙂 No new posts at the moment, I am trying to get my relational databases and enforce my referential integrities in order before my exam at the end of the month lol 😉 That’s a meteorotic job in itself. Have a wicked weekend Andro! 🙂 xx

      • Hey plenty of time for posting just pass your exams that is good enough for me 🙂 Oh yes and don’t forget to have some fun in between either or else? 😉 🙂

        Andro xxxx

  16. Önskar dig en fin och magisk helg…
    Kram Nicki

  17. I Nominate you for a Super Bunch of Awards – 30 Nominations
    please choose any 3 awards out of the 30
    accept it and oblige

    there are no linkbacks for this award


  18. Greetings and invite you to watch my new album photograph.

  19. Have a lovely Monday Icywolfy
    and keep working hard on your
    exams, or else? 😉 🙂

    Andro xxxx

  20. Hej Wolfie..
    Vad bra att du inte heller gillar stora bergochdalbanor dom är lite läskiga faktiskt men det är roligt att skriva om dom..lol..
    och håller med dig perfekt för dom som gillar berg och dalbanor..
    Ha en fin vecka wolfie kram Nicki

  21. I am all for change..but I think I will stay here and grow my own pizza ingredients in
    my gardens here on earth…they need to check with McDonalds on how to
    prolong shelf life for food LOLs…
    Good post Wolfie…..
    Hope all is well in your part of the world…
    Take Care…You Matter…

    LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words
    • Let me know about prolonging the shelf life for food! lol 😉 I’m sure McDonalds will have some wonderful exciting responses that I need to know about!!
      The last heatwave of summer is wrapping us in it’s roasting embrace so it is very lovely round here though that is set to change by the weekend with thunderstorms on the way 🙂 Hope all is good with you and your beautiful blog 🙂
      Wolfie hugs 🙂

  22. Hej Wolfie..
    Roligt att du ville föja med och titta på min runda..
    Du är en fin vargvän lol..
    önskar dig nu en härlig helg..
    Kram Nicki

  23. Hej Wolfie…
    Vad skönt att du känner detsamma om bloggstressen skönt att höra att det inte bara är jag..ja hoppas för oss båda att vi får mera tid nu när sommaren tar slut..Och jag har fortfarande inte hunnit att göra min nya twitter slängde den gamla..När den är färdig ska du få den..Kram Nicki

    • Hej Nicki
      Ja … Twitter är mycket tidskrävande för tycker du inte? Jag älskar det nu, men jag önskar att det fanns några fler timmar på dagen! Ser fram emot att se dig på det igen 🙂
      Och du är verkligen inte ensam med blogging stress! Titta hur lång tid det har tagit för mig att komma tillbaka till de synpunkter som här till exempel! Kram Wolfie 🙂

  24. Merhaba benim güzel arkadaşım Buz
    Teşekkür ederim ben çok iyiyim 🙂 )
    bende sizi gördüğüme sevindim
    ayrıca değerli yorumların için teşekkür ederim
    Türkiye,de şuan havalar sıcak ancak ekimde soğuk olur
    senin için güzel bir gün ve yeni bir hafta diliyorum
    kendine çok iyi bak benim sevgili arkadaşım
    çok kucak dolusu sevgiler senin için 🙂 )

    • Merhaba güzel Seçil 🙂
      Ve teşekkür ederim, seni görmek her zaman harika!
      Evet … çok Ekim ayında İngiltere’de soğuk olacak
      Şimdilik biz 30 derece sıcak hava dalgası var!
      Bu hafta sonu yağmur ve fırtına gelecek
      ama bugün için biz zevk 🙂
      Var güzel bir gün benim özel bir arkadaşım Seçil 🙂

  25. Does this mean waving goodbye to the sensual pleasures of food preparation? Peeling garlic, chopping mushrooms, crying over onions, drinking red wine – an essential part of the cooking process.
    if so, I’ll miss it.

    • Yes! Totally and absolutely! lol…I wouldn’t complain about no crying over onions that’s for sure! Though I can see that they’d be an excellent excuse for consuming copious amounts of red wine to compensate for the agony of mascara streaming into the eyeballs!! 🙂

  26. You have such unique posts 🙂 And the landscape of your blog is just dreamy.

    • Thank you! And welcome 🙂 Great to see you again! I’m so pleased you like it. I had thought of changing the background but nothing else seems to create quite the right effect…and it’s kinda become the “signature tune” of the blog!!

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