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A company that is pioneering the growth of synthetic beef worked with a Russian 3D printing company and the Russian crew on board the International Space Station to grow meat in space.

Aleph Farms is an Israeli company that is working with 3D Bioprinting Solutions in the effort to reduce the need to kill actual animals to produce the world’s protein needs. As part of that effort, they teamed up with crew on the space station to successfully grow beef cells 248 miles above the nearest cow pasture.

The 3D printing company is also working with companies Meal Source Technologies, which is focusing on synthetic rabbit, and Finless Foods, which is focusing on synthetic fish, all of which may some day be used to help feed space-faring travelers in need of protein as well as feed the projected 10 billion people on Earth.

Aleph Farms though, which uses a cellular process that mimics a cow’s natural process of regenerating muscle tissue, was the first involved in an experiment in microgravity on board the Russian segment of the ISS on Sept. 26.

“This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come, while preserving our natural resources,” said Didier Toubia, cofounder and CEO of Aleph Farms in a press release. “This keystone of human achievement in space follows Yuri Gagarin’s success of becoming the first man to journey into outer space, and Neil Armstrong’s 50th anniversary (of setting foot on the moon) this year.”

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