A team of German engineers is using a forthcoming mission to the ISS to solve one of the greatest problems that faces modern astronauts -- how to get good bread.
Bread's apparently banned from space as the crumbs get everywhere, and the astronauts are fed up of eating Spam out of toothpaste tubes or whatever it is they live on up there, so the Bake In Space initiative and the German Aerospace Centre are working on a solution.
There are multiple angles of attack. A new bread formulation might lead to a crumb-less dough, or a tweak to the temperature and humidity levels of cooking -- or even baking in a vacuum -- may reduce destabilisation and break up of the crust.
Space bakers are limited by safety protocols and the wiring of the ISS itself, though, which requires any future space bread oven to use no more than 250 Watts at peak and to keep its external temperature to just 45 degrees.
Bake In Space plans to test a variety of options in a mission to the ISS scheduled for April of 2018, with scientists on the ground controlling the baking process remotely to avoid burdening the brainiacs up in space with such minor cooking tasks. [Bake In Space via New Scientist]
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