Any combination of yellow, green, orange, white, pink, clove or brown on a particleboard base. Warm to suit taste... Alternatively squirt nutrient juice directly on Necco Wafers.
A small company in Austin, Texas, has received a $US125,000 grant from NASA to develop 3D printed food for astronauts. The challenges are multifold – not least among them producing something palatable out of a printer – but the idea is that with enough development, NASA might be able to come up with something that beats the …
You gotta get the food printer with different flavours in different cartridges! The 4 flavours in the same cargridge is for noobs.
Anyway, your analogy is apt. The flavour and micronutrients cartridges are also more than likely cost a lot more than even current injet cartridges. And as we all know, the ink contained wihin those have been calculated to cost more than gold (by weight).
I thus had to laugh at the linked orginal proposal. Under the section marked 'POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS' (their shouting, not mine), they state "implementing technologies such as 3D printing, this may avoid food shortage, inflation, starvation, famine and even food wars". I think that is a slightly long bow to draw. I can't image this costing less than currently produced food.
Key thing is that it will be cheaper and more appetising than the food they already take up.
Cost is relative. The ingredients can be dry and the water used recycled decreasing weight at take off which can cost $4000 - $40,000 / kg.
so a few kilos of weight saved will buy a lot of print heads.
Plus the food will 'appear' fresh so will make happy astronauts.
Also who is to say that the ingredients will be stored in expensive one off print heads, I suspect in 10 years time we will see chain Pizza restaurants selling printed pizzas ordered over the net. Probably delivered by robot scooters , they can't be any more of a danger than the existing pizza delivery riders!
If it's as slow as my Epson printer, by the time the printing of your "hot" Earl Grey has been completed... it'll be Earl Grey "cold".
Also, it's not exactly printed in Star Trek is it; it just kind of materialises under a hue of cool blue light with sparkly shimmery bits in it.
If this is the future of food then I'll pass thanks.
"Also, it's not exactly printed in Star Trek is it; it just kind of materialises under a hue of cool blue light with sparkly shimmery bits in it."
That's been explained away a few times as a microtransporter, rather than a printer - however if you think about the way a transporter supposedly works... (You'll never allow yourself to be put through one again)
Choose correct Meg Whitman response below:
A) Pressing fingertips together ala Montgomery Burns and breathily hissing "Excellent!"
B) Stroke white Persian cat while watching liftoff of rocket bearing food printer
C) Sitting in dark corner suite saying "Everything is transpiring as I have forseen...."
Before we (the Brits) start anything a bit tricky ( i.e.fighting obscene amount of aliens) put the kettle on #1.
During the course of fighting, aquire a mild effort induced glow.
After the slaying of all said tricky stuff, put the kettle on. it's the british way.
not a "whoop whoop" in sight , just the tinkle of spoon on the rim.
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It's not all that much money, and could make it cheaper to get the 'nauts fed. Every ounce flown into space has an immense price tag. By the time a freeze-dried sterilised burger makes it to the ISS, it's worth more than gold.
Some sort of green soy-lentil amalgamation perhaps? Although it would be very difficult to tell what was really in it. It could be people, or even worse - horse...