Why do Russian cosmonauts grow meat in space?

A press conference was held at the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics, at which representatives of Roscosmos and 3D Bioprinting Solutions announced the successful completion of the meat bioprinting experiment. The composition of the produced product will still be investigated in a laboratory on Earth, but it can already be argued that under the conditions of microgravity in space, it is possible to establish the production of fresh meat products.

An experienced bioprinter called Organ.Avt raised meat samples from cell cultures of cow, rabbit and fish muscles. The experiment was successful, which demonstrated the possibility of the process of cultivation of cellular structures in zero gravity on board spacecraft.

Organ.Avt bioprinter located at the International Space Station is an experimental installation - a technology demonstrator. It is not intended for growing large pieces of meat, but the principle of its operation allows scaling to industrial designs.

The bioprinter uses magnetic levitation for layer-by-layer growth of living cells. The printer was already used in space in 2018, when it was able to print cartilage and thyroid tissue. Theoretically, such printers can be used not only for growing food in space, but also for printing donor organs. Bioprinting is necessary for the sustainable existence of settlements outside the orbit of the Earth, as well as for long flights deep into the solar system. Such missions are the most complex of many technologies, without which space exploration is impossible. Russian bioprinting technology can become an important part of this complex.

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