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. (Read more NASA stories.)