The crew of the International Space Station has gotten good at producing salad greens in space, but what about something more meaty? Israeli company Aleph Farms is dreaming of space beef and committing to a solar system where astronauts can chow on cultivated meat on the moon or Mars.
It's a timely dream since NASA is pushing for a human presence on the moon through its Artemis program while looking ahead to sending astronauts to Mars. Those astronauts will have to eat, and space-grown fresh steaks would break up the monotony of freeze-dried and preserved foods.
Aleph Farms shared a render of a BioFarm facility on Mars. These facilities might seem like a far-off idea, but the company has already taken small steps forward. A year ago, it announced a successful 3D bioprinter experiment on the ISS that involved assembling cells harvested from live animals into a tiny piece of muscle tissue, essentially a mini beef steak in space.
"We are currently building our work plan with selected partners for developing our BioFarm for extraterrestrial human colonies, and our activities will certainly involve more experiments on Earth under microgravity and in space, including with the ISS," Aleph Farms co-founder Didier Toubia said.
Aleph Farms' space aspirations tie into its Earthly goal of "providing access to healthy nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere." If you can make meat on the ISS or on the moon, you can make it in a desert or in Antarctica.
We may be many long years away from hosting BBQs on Mars, but the vision for growing off-world meat is already in place.