According to the latest report, at present, space business giants Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk both want to develop Mars resources, NASA is planning to send humans to land on the dusty Mars, but If humans really want to build a survival base on the moon or other planets, what do they eat?
In fact, a lot of experiments have been done to see if plants can thrive in space, and recently, scientists conducted a new test to observe animal meat cells growing in space, which is a small step in testing potential sources of nutrients, But it is a big step for future space travel life, and it is crucial for their survival in space. At the same time, this is also the experimental mission that scientists expect to achieve.
An experiment to grow animal meat cells in space, designed by Israel’s Aleph Farms, which plans to grow edible meat from animal meat cells, is being conducted by the first all-private astronaut to arrive at the International Space Station The team conducts. But skeptics say this method of obtaining food is too unstable for astronauts to rely on such cultivated meat for food, and that growing meat in space will never be easier than bringing it from Earth.
How to “make meat”
Even on earth, it is not easy to grow meat from cells, especially in large-scale production. Aleph Cultivation is one of the companies trying to cultivate “artificial meat”, but unlike other companies, it is the first Commercial company trying to make space meat.
Although the company doesn’t like to use the term “lab meat,” the process of growing meat is completely different from traditional farms.
Aleph Breeders feed bovine cells (any animal cell can be used) with the nutrients they need to grow, such as amino acids and carbohydrates, and these cells will continue to multiply until they form muscle tissue and eventually become human edible meat, This process is called “cultivation” or “proliferation”.
The meat is grown in tanks that look more like brewery tanks than livestock farms, but the life cycle of edible livestock—birth, growth, and slaughter—is completely ignored. Some experts say the process has potentially positive effects on the environment, such as a dramatic reduction in methane emissions.
Why grow meat in space?
Scientists don’t know if this can be replicated in zero gravity, based on previous scientific research we know that physiology and ecological principles change in space. so we don’t know (and no one knows yet) if it can be in space Cultivate artificial meat.
So the four astronauts carried out this particular experiment when they took a SpaceX rocket into space on April 8 for the International Space Station, bringing a shoebox-sized container with animal cells in it, as well as all kinds of things needed to grow it. Nutrients.
Is it worth it?
Even if the experiment is successful and proves that meat can be grown in space, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea. There is a reason why artificial meat is not sold in supermarkets. In fact, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in artificial meat in recent years, but this kind of food is difficult to produce on a large scale.
At present, Aleph Cultivation is still waiting for approval from the Israeli food regulator before it can be served in restaurants. This artificial meat has not been mass-produced on Earth, let alone in space.
However, there are other more practical problems with growing meat in space. The first is the problem of infertility. Animal cells grow more slowly. If bacteria or fungi are put into a petri dish, they will grow faster than animal cells, but eventually, the bacteria will completely replace animal cells, in essence, is cultivating bacteria that cannot be eaten by humans.
Aleph Cultivation says they believe infertility will eventually be resolved, especially in areas where relatively small amounts of meat need to be made, but contamination would be catastrophic for a human base on Mars, the equivalent of a space crop failure.
At the same time, the company also said that the cost of transporting food into space is extremely high. However, starting in 2008, NASA estimated the cost of transporting a 0.45 kg (1 lb) load to Earth orbit at $10,000. Aleph Cultivation says it would cost several times more to bring 0.45 kilograms of food to Mars.
But the chemical engineer Hubbard disagreed with the potential benefit. Meat cells are grown on the basis of edible substances: sugars, amino acids, and water, and the calorie value of our meat cells is always lower than that of edible substances. The calorific value of a substance. In the best-case scenario, the human body might get 25% of the calories in the food, so here’s the question: why do we carry 100% of the calories, by feeding the nutrients to the meat cells to grow, and end up taking only 25% of the calories?
But there are other considerations in planning long-term space missions, such as the mental health of astronauts. Former U.S. astronaut Karen Nyberg, who spent five and a half months on the International Space Station, said food plays a vital role in the mental health of space astronauts, usually in white bags, you can avoid dehydration or moisture, such as placing food such as milk powder, but I prefer to eat some fresh food in space, I really miss the taste of garlic and olive oil, but we do not have these foods, so I think any food that can be brought into space All are great.
For Karen, fresh food and vegetables are vital if she is away from Earth for a long time. Of course, if humans really want to send humans to Mars, how to provide astronauts with nutritious, non-perishable, and delicious food is an important and difficult problem.
There is evidence that growing meat in space is the same thing as it is on Earth, and that artificial meat in space is reliable enough or could replace food brought from Earth in the future. For all its ambitions, Aleph Cultivation is a more pressing priority for the company to show that artificial meat can be mass-produced on Earth.