NASA Wants to 3D-Print Pizza in Space

Also: your mom's cookies

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 22, 2013 7:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Still no jetpacks, but your inner 9-year-old has to be excited about this: NASA is developing a 3D printer that can print "nutritious and flavorful" food during space travel. The agency says its current space food is "not adequate in nutrition or acceptability through the five-year shelf life required for a mission to Mars, or other long duration missions." So the new printer would combine powders, water, and oil a la carte to create meals that better suit an astronaut's individual tastes and needs, the Washington Post reports.

The first goal is to create a 3D-printed pizza, but eventually, astronauts' families could send in personalized family recipes from home. "Mom designs a cookie in a computer, sends the cookie to the space shuttle and the son or daughter prints out a cookie at Christmas," says the engineer who came up with the idea. He also believes the printer could eventually help the fight against hunger back here on Earth, as the powder used to "build" food would be shelf-stable for decades, Quartz reports.

Lockeed Martin senior research scientist Maya Cooper shows a vegan pizza developed at NASA's Advanced Food Technology Project at Johnson Space Center in Houston Tuesday, July 3, 2012. NASA is currently planning a mission to Mars, which has gravity, so more options for food preparation, like chopping vegetables, are available...
Lockeed Martin senior research scientist Maya Cooper shows a vegan pizza developed at NASA's Advanced Food Technology Project at Johnson Space Center in Houston Tuesday, July 3, 2012. NASA is currently...   (AP Photo/Michael Stravato)
A non-3-D-printed vegan pizza developed at NASA's Advanced Food Technology Project.
A non-3-D-printed vegan pizza developed at NASA's Advanced Food Technology Project.   (AP Photo/Michael Stravato)
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