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NASA wants to create a 'food replicator'

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posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 02:45 PM
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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.



Sorry, thats all I could get without paying to become a member.



apc

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 12:35 AM
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Reminds me of the dispensers they had on 'Enterprise'
They couldn't do much, but they could make coffee.
And isn't that all that really matters?



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 10:51 AM
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We just need to perfect teleportation...and whoolah.


but seriously.....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. I think that would be great, something minor breaks, and they could just order up a new one to be made.



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 11:12 AM
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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.



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 11:16 AM
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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.


do what?

I have a brother-in-law in Iraq, and he's sent us some MRE's and I had a couple...they were ok...I liked the spegatti the best, but even that had a certian blandness about it.



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 12:16 PM
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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



posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 10:38 PM
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Did NASA scrap the idea of having greenhouses in space.



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 01:10 AM
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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


Not to sound like a jerk but it sounds like you're the one whos running... this thing is probably just gonna have 35 different types of acids, bases, and starches that when mixed will make the type of food you see on 2001: A Space Odyssey. (Twenty bucks says thats gonna be almost the same thing) I think we are a LONG ways away from molecular stability talk.



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 01:18 AM
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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.



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 04:25 AM
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Originally posted by Silent Professional
Did NASA scrap the idea of having greenhouses in space.


I never new they were planning on it.?

Although that reminded me of a cool picture that I wish would come true.
Its basically a glass roofed dome, surrounded by solar panels, with a artificial sun in the middle so the plants can grow. It would be cool to have like a little mini earth on the moon, and you could experience 1/6 the gravity without a bulky space suit.





posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 12:10 PM
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Once access to space is a lot easier and cheaper these kinds of visions will become possible a lot quicker than we think.
That’s a very cool picture Murcielago.
Here's an interesting article proposed for the vision Bush has layed out for the near future.

The Homestead Project: Making a Mars Settlement a Reality (2025)




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, and the need for food replicators will not be so dramatic.

www.space.com...

[edit on 20-8-2005 by rufi0o]



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 04:40 PM
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rufi0o
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

Self-susaining??? on the moon? Mars...probably, but the moon? What about water?



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 05:04 PM
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Well, if you give 'em a bunch of water, Murcielago, they can reuse and recycle the vast majority of it, and would only need systematic replenishments, which would be done anyway. The hardest part to believe about all that, though, is that she'll be Canadian.


At any rate,


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.


So what? Sounds like a microwave, and proper set of cutlery.



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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ahhh, I missed the canadian joke???

anyway...I know that water recycling is getting very good, to the point that over 99% of the waste water gets filtered back into fresh drinkable water. But still, if every now & then you reley on water from earth...thats not self sustaining. The ISS currently has enough supplies for people to live there until 2010...I dont consider that self sustaining.



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 06:19 PM
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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]


apc

posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 06:36 PM
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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

This is stereo lythography (SLA), and yes it certainly does rock butt.
I recently had some prototypes modeled in SLA and man... that stuff is cool.
Production takes a while, because the item to be modeled is either scanned in via laser or through a data file. Then an etching laser shoots down into a pool of semi-solid composite material, often straight silicone, etching the outline of a single 'slice' of the item to be produced. The model is elevated slightly out of the pool, and the process repeats.
>The part literally 'grows' out of the medium.

You can make just about any single component with SLA. From plastic housings to aircraft parts. Any spacecraft with both an SLA station and a food synthesizer would be nearly self sustaining. Definitely some really awesome technology.



[edit on 20-8-2005 by apc]



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 07:13 PM
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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]


What


You dont think the earth is self-sustaining...I'm sorry, I must have been sleeping when the aliens drop off the "earth supplies" that which we need to live on this platnet.


oh, and "apc" thanks for pinning the name on it.


[edit on 20-8-2005 by Murcielago]



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 07:44 PM
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I'm just saying that the Earth has limited resources. Yes, they'll last for a long time (some more than others) and yes, we'll probably all die before the Earth has nothing to offer, but that doesn't mean it's limitless. The universe itself isn't even self-sustaining.



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 10:54 PM
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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.

Sooo...you want your tea to taste like dry leaves?



posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 11:39 PM
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I'm reminded of an article I read a few years ago, this company was researching nano-tech, so they could make a kind of replicator, that takes raw material, and on a nano scale turns it into edible food.

I think that we'll be able to do that, before we can change the molecular structure of things as energy and turning it back into matter.



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