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NASA funds 3D food printer, pizza is the first item on the menu

Melissa Grey, @meligrey
May 21, 2013
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Last week we had lab-grown burgers; this week it's powdered pizza. NASA's gotten in on the synthesized food action by awarding a $125,000 grant to Anjan Contractor, head of Systems & Materials Research Corporation, to develop a 3D food printer. The first device Contractor plans to build under the six-month grant is based on RepRap's open-source hardware and will be designed to print a pizza comprised of three layers of nutritional powders mixed with water and oil. As the final frontier gets further and further away, NASA's need for a nutritious, long-lasting food supply suitable for space travel grows. Since the powders used in Contractor's design -- potentially sourced from insects, grass and algae -- have a shelf life of about 30 years, his 3D food printer would be well-suited to the task. If your appetite's survived the idea of snacks made from pulverized insects, you can watch the grant-winning prototype print some synthesized chocolate after the break.

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