Astronauts Will Bake First Crumb-free Bread In Space

Posted: Jun 13 2017, 3:37am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 13 2017, 3:47am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Astronauts will Bake First Crumb-free Bread in Space
Credit: NASA/collectSPACE.com

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Bread has been banned in space since NASA’s 1965 Gemini 3 mission

Astronauts living and working in space also need food for their survival. But because of microgravity conditions, their menu is relatively limited and excludes certain food items. For instance, food like bread and cookies that crumble when eaten is avoided in space. Crumbs from bread can damage onboard equipment or get into the eyes of astronauts as they float everywhere in the microgravity.

The last time astronauts enjoyed bread in space was in NASA’s 1965 Gemini 3 mission, when two astronauts ate corned beef sandwich. The sandwich was carried by one of astronauts without informing the mission management and it could lead to a disaster. Since then, bread has been banned in space and tortillas have been used as a replacement. Now, Sebastian Marcu, founder of Germany-based company Bake In Space, is aiming to make bread available for astronauts in space.

According to New Scientist, Marcu is working with the German Aerospace Centre and food scientists to develop a dough mixture and baking process that produces crumb-free bread. Obviously, it has to taste better as well. The biggest challenge however is coming up with a right mixture.

"Baking where nobody baked before," said the team behind the Bake In Space experiment. "Bake In Space seeks to address the scientific and technical challenges relating to the production of fresh bread in space."

Bake In Space will test various approaches on International Space Station during the European Space Agency’s Horizon mission in April 2018. The entire baking process will be controlled from the ground via video feeds, so astronauts won’t be physically involved in the process and they do not need to be worried about the end result.

Bread is a common staple food around the world. Having freshly baked bread available in space could have a positive impact on people’s moods. It will improve taste and adds nutritional benefits as well.

“The comforts of home, like the smell of fresh baked bread, could energize astronauts physically and psychologically.” Jennifer Levasseur from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum said of the experiment.

The dough will be first tested on Earth to see the potential effects of microgravity conditions on finished loaf.

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