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from NewScientist.com -
"TEA. Earl Grey. Hot." If only astronauts on the International Space Station could summon their creature comforts as easily as Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek's starship Enterprise. After six months on the ISS, watching the sun rise 16 times a day, astronauts have eaten more than 500 tedious meals of dehydrated, long-life food. Who wouldn't give their right arm for a pizza bubbling with browned mozzarella or a fresh cream bun?
The wacky "food replicator" in Star Trek was pure make-believe. It stored 3D scans of the molecular structure of drinks and meals, then miraculously assembled individual molecules into these foods in seconds. That technology is way beyond our horizons, but a NASA-funded study is about to look into a simpler option - a compact cooking machine that will create a larderful of familiar foods from a limited range of space-friendly ingredients.
Originally posted by mashup
I was on an army training camp and we had one of those packed meals which you can eat in the event of being stuck in a desert, or post nuclear apocalyptic world, and it was really nice.
I don't understand how they would be able to do that though.
Originally posted by racos
I guess as we will need to learn to walk before running when it comes to making this technology work...I think the first thing we need is a way to scan a certain object/food and display us a molecular model of it. I think once we have that we can then start thinking about ways of gettin particles and joining them in the same type of format, even if it is done via some form of enzymes
Originally posted by Silent Professional
Did NASA scrap the idea of having greenhouses in space.
While drawing up plans for the settlement, the group restricted themselves to existing—or extrapolations of existing—technologies. Despite this limitation, the group believes the first stages of a Martian settlement could be in place as soon as 2025.
If this sort of development can be made by 2025 then the future looks very bright. Self-sustaining habitats on the Moon, Mars and in space will be awesome
That technology is way beyond our horizons, but a NASA-funded study is about to look into a simpler option - a compact cooking machine that will create a larderful of familiar foods from a limited range of space-friendly ingredients.
I think the next smart thing for Nasa and the ISS is to have a little factory on site, Nasa is thinking about this. The want to have those (forgot what there called) umm...It has a laser that passes over this liquid goop and it hardens it, making it a usable part, much like the 3D printer but faster
Originally posted by Amorymeltzer
Waste has to happen and, thanks to thermodynamics, some energy will always be wasted, no society is self-sustaining, not even Earth. For general use, however, it's used in a less factual manner, meaning "for a long time."
[edit on 8/20/2005 by Amorymeltzer]
Originally posted by The Parallelogram
Something tells me our food replicators will wind up more like the ones in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy than the ones in Trek... machines probably won't be able to handle the finer aspects of the culinary arts, such as producing palatable food.