A company named “Bake in Space” set out to do just that, help astronauts bake fresh bread while they are up in space. To do so, a team of scientists developed a special dough mixture and also designed a special oven, one created to fit on the ISS.
Still in development, this Bake in Space experiment is scheduled to set out for the International Space Station (ISS) in 2018.
Currently, astronauts are using ready-made meals while up in space. But as space journeys are getting longer, it is also becoming increasingly impractical storing all the required food on board. That is, without even taking into consideration their appeal and flavors. Scientists have managed to grow vegetables while in space, but bread is a trickier matter.
The seemingly inoffensive bread crumbs could pose major risks while aboard a spacecraft. These tiny particles could turn into a choking hazard for the astronauts. They may also lead to technical failures as they reach the ventilation or electrical systems.
Fresh Bread in Space and Its Various Challenges
So Bake in Space came up with a solution. The German company set out to create a special dough which could result in a crumb-less bread. This process would also require a specially designed oven, a compact model capable of fitting inside the ISS.
“As space tourism takes off and people spend more time in space we need to allow bread to be made from scratch,” says Sebastian Marcu.
He is the founder and CEO of Bake in Space. Marcu’s company is working together with the German Aerospace Centre as well as several food scientists to achieve its goal. They are looking to develop this particularly so that it can be baked in space and result in fresh bread that is also flavorful.
That, according to the team, is the “biggest challenge”. They are looking to achieve bread that leaves not crumbs and is also palatable. To do so, they will be testing several variants with some help from the special oven after the equipment reaches the ISS.
The Earth-bound team will be controlling the baking process and setting the parameters, while the astronauts go on with their work. This experiment is scheduled to board the ESA Horizon mission and head to the ISS in April 2018.
If successful, the team is looking to experiment more with baking fresh bread in space. Or, on the contrary, bringing dough made in space back to Earth. This is also just one of the various experiments trying to ensure fresh food for astronauts.
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