A mishap has resulted in the first bioprinter to be sent to the International Space Station not quite making it to its destination. Last Thursday, the Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-10 crashed due to a malfunction during liftoff. The bioprinter, called Organ.Aut, was to arrive at the ISS and be part of the first experiments in 3D printing organ tissue in space, but it was destroyed when the spacecraft malfunctioned.
The delivery of the first 3D bioprinter to the International Space Station may have hit a snag, but it’s not really more than that: a snag. Besides the second bioprinter being provided by 3D Bioprinting Solutions, there are several other bioprinters being developed for the purposes of bioprinting in outer space. It may seem odd that so many are focused on bioprinting in space, when, after all, 3D printed organs are going to be needed here on Earth, but bioprinting is actually easier in zero gravity.
It’s pretty much a certainty that bioprinting in outer space will be taking place very soon, and that we can expect to see some amazing developments once the printers actually start arriving on the ISS. The real question is which of them will start achieving those developments first.