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Astronauts and explorers on Mars might eat lab-grown steaks

Growing meat without the need to grow a whole animal has been the dream of agriculturalists and foodies everywhere for decades.  More and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon to try to truly recreate the experience of eating meat without the downsides so often associated with its creation.  One of those companies is Aleph Farms, based in Israel, which just announced their newest program – Aleph Zero, an effort to grow meat in industrial quantities in space.

This wouldn’t be the first time the company has reached for the stars.  Last year, they successfully grew the first meat in space as part of a collaboration with 3D Bioprinting Solutions.  The work was carried out on the ISS, and, despite being a milestone for food production, only resulted in a small amount of actual meat.

Announcement video from Aleph Farms showing the goals for the Aleph Zero project.
Credit: Aleph Farms Youtube Channel

The company has since busied itself reaching out to space agencies and other technology companies to establish cooperative research and development agreements.  While no specific agreements have yet come to light, the company released a Medium article with a link to a video from the CEO describing the drive behind the company’s new initiative.

If they hope to reach more milestones, the company must work quickly. Others are hot on it’s heels in hopes to capture some of the soon-to-be growing market for space meat.  Programs like NASA’s Artemis and SpaceX’s planned Mars mission could exponentially increase the number of people that are living long term in space.  If a company could produce meat on an industrial scale from locally sourced ingredients, such as Aleph plans to do with it’s “BioFarms”, it could be a game changer for the nutrition of future space explorers. 

Feature story on the quest for a lab grown burger.
Credit: Wired Youtube Channel

For now, that’s still a long way off, but anyone interested in the long term exploration of space should keep a close eye on this small Israeli company and its dreams of a meatier future.

Learn More:
Aleph Farms – Launching ‘Aleph Zero’ Program to Grow Steaks in Space
UT – Yummy! ISS Astronauts Eat First Space-Grown Food
Space.com – Meat Grown in Space for the First Time Ever
UT – What Will It Take To Feed A Million People On Mars

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