Israeli biotech food company Aleph Farms, which cultivates beef steaks, has announced that it has successfully taken "one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind" in producing meat on the International Space Station, 339 km above the surface of the planet.
The project is an international collaboration between with 3D Bioprinting Solutions (Russia), Meal Source Technologies (USA) and Finless Foods (USA).
Aleph farms is a leader in the lab-grown meat process and this successful attempt at growing off-world meat demonstrates the attainable possibility of providing unconditional access to safe and nutritious meat anytime, anywhere, while using minimal resources.
Aleph Farms' production method of cultivated beef steaks relies on mimicking a natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration occurring inside the cow's body, but under controlled conditions. In this project on board the ISS, a small-scale muscle tissue in a 3D bioprinter under micro-gravity conditions.
"In space, we don't have 10,000 or 15,000 Litre (3962.58 Gallon) of water available to produce one Kg (2.205 Pound) of beef," says Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. "This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come, while preserving our natural resources. This keystone of human achievement in space follows Yuri Gagarin's success of becoming the first man to journey into outer space, and Neil Armstrong's 50th anniversary this year, celebrating the moment when the first man walked on space," Toubia concludes.
Creating meat under these extreme conditions demonstrates the efficacy of a process that could go a long way to easing the climate impact of livestock farming as well as pointing a way forward for long-term off-world travel such a mission to Mars and the nutrition requirements in such conditions.