NASA wants to send a few brave men and women to Mars in the future. To do that, they're going to need to stock up on supplies for the estimated 250 day trip. Despite my love for dehydrated ice cream, it's unlikely that astronauts could survive on the flavored styrofoam for the full trip. That's where 3D printers come in.
Last year, NASA announced that it was investing a hefty chunk of change into 3D printers. The plastic extruding 3D printers that we all know and love are already set to make a trip to space in 2014 for testing. NASA believes that 3D printers can help astronauts quickly repair simple objects on the space station instead of having to wait for a costly resupply.
While printing small plastic objects would no doubt help astronauts on their way to Mars, food is far more important. That's why NASA is also investing in a 3D food printer that can create mini pizzas by extruding dough, sauce and cheese onto a heated bed. We got a limited look at the printer last year, but a new video gives us an even closer look at the printing process:
Anjan Contractor - the man behind the printer - shared a picture of what the pizza looks like after being baked for 70 seconds:
I've had enough microwavable pizza in my time to know that this is already a better product. Don't expect to see 3D printed pizzas in your home anytime soon though as the product still hasn't been submitted to the FDA. Don't expect it to be for a while either as the team is still likely working with NASA to make sure it's completely safe for human consumption.[h/t: io9] Image via Anjan Contractor/YouTube