The aroma and warmth of freshly baked bread are such sensory delights.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station may soon enjoy this elusive reminder of home if a new food experiment succeeds.
A German company called Bake In Space is testing both a new dough mixture for German bread rolls and an oven specially designed for the ISS and microgravity.
“We are working to produce a bread machine that will be capable of baking bread rolls and a dough mixture that will be suitable for the space environment,” the Bake In Space site states.
While bread on the space station may not sound all that exciting, astronauts must worry about any food that creates crumbs or particles that can float around and damage equipment.
In fact, when astronauts on NASA’s 1965 Gemini 3 mission ate a corned beef sandwich smuggled on board, crumbs of rye bread began to float around the cabin, jeopardizing the gear and potentially the astronauts themselves — think crumbs in eyes. Bread has always been banned from the ISS, though currently tortillas are allowed.
The baking experiment will take place next April during the European Space Agency’s Horizon mission on the ISS. Ground crew will monitor live video feeds from inside the oven, so astronauts won’t have to worry about their loaves while performing their regular duties.
As space tourism takes off and people spend more time in space, we need to allow bread to be made from scratch,” Sebastian Marcu, CEO and founder of Bake In Space, told New Scientist last week.
Perhaps cookies and brownies are next.