Aleph Farms, announced its new “Aleph Zero” program today, which aims to bring the production of cell-based meat into outer space to help humans become “multiplanetary.”
Aleph’s lab-grown, slaughter-free approach to creating meat could mean that astronauts may one day could create their own steaks and other protein on long-haul missions far away from any natural resources.
Based on the press release, there isn’t a lot of, err, meat on the bones of this announcement. The company just says that it “is securing strategic partnerships with technology companies and space agencies for long term collaborative research and development contracts” to integrate Aleph Farms’ technology into space programs.
It should be noted, however, that Aleph’s meat has already been to space. Last year the company successfully grew small-scale muscle tissue aboard the International Space Station.
For something that is literally a giant vacuum, space is getting increasingly crowded with food tech. NASA is researching how to grow chile peppers in space, we learned in March that romaine lettuce grown in space was safe to eat, the Zero G oven lets astronauts bake cookies in space, and last year a Japanese consortium launched its Space Food X initiative to feed people in space.
Working on feeding people in space may seem less pressing than feeding those in need here on Earth. But as Aleph points out in its release, if food can be created in micro-gravity and far away from natural resources up in space, those innovations can help us feed people living in extreme conditions here on Earth.