Astronauts will be able to enjoy fresh food in space while performing their duties, soon. A Germany-based company is working on a process to bake crumb-free bread in space with a new dough mixture and oven specially designed for use on the International Space Station (ISS). Bread is banned in space since 1965 after an astronaut smuggled a corned beef sandwich aboard the Gemini 3 mission. The crumbs of bread flew everywhere in the microgravity, bringing danger of causing eye injuries or even causing a fire. However, now after five decades of the ban, the company Bake In Space has come up with the concept of a new baking process for bread. The company is working with the German Aerospace Centre and food scientists from several other research organisations to develop the dough mixture and baking process. It will be tested during a mission next year, reports New Scientist.
According to Sebastian Marcu, founder of Bake In Space, the idea behind developing this process of baking bread in space is to make the life of astronauts in space more pleasant by providing them with fresh food. The team is working on every detail to come up with a well-defined product. The hardest part is coming up with the right texture of bread, as only a tough and chewy bread will not produce crumb but it is also unpleasant to the taste, says the report quoting Florian Stukenborg. Meanwhile, electricity is another constraint. It is limited in space so the oven must work on just 250 watts, which is a tenth of the power used by a standard oven, and its exterior surfaces can also not exceed 45 degree Celsius, said Matthias Boehme at OHB System AG, a Bremen-based company that develops equipment for use in space, as per the report.
WATCH | Astronauts will soon be able to bake bread on ISS
Moreover, the company is also making arrangements to control the baking process from the ground. According to Bake In Space, a team on the ground will control the process via video feeds from inside the oven. It will help the astronauts to not worry about burning of the bread on top of their work in space. The company hopes to complete the overall process and test various approaches on board the ISS during the European Space Agency’s Horizon mission in April 2018.