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First 3-D printed 'space pizza' created under NASA contract

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In 2013, NASA granted a contract to a company called Systems and Materials Research Consultancy of Austin, Texas to develop ways to use 3-D printing technology to create food for astronauts on space stations or deep space missions. It looks like the company has succeeded, according to a January 27, 2014 piece in NDTV with the first 3-D printed pizza.

“The printer would be able to lay out all the starches, proteins, fats, texture, and structure, spraying on flavour, smell, and micro-nutrients at the end, Contractor from Texas-based Systems & Materials Research Corporation said.”

The 3-D printed food project aroused the ire of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, who listed it in an annual report on government waste. Defenders of the project point out that such technology would simplify the problem of feeding astronauts who will be obliged to be away from Earth for long periods of time, in a space station, on the moon, or on deep space missions to Mars. In any event it represents a new step toward the creation of “Star Trek” style food replicators.

Mark R. Whittington is the author of Children of Apollo, The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories, and The Man from Mars: The Asteroid Mining Caper

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