Being in space for long periods can really make people miss home and small things can make a big difference to your emotional state. In 2008 the Astronaut Don Pettit built a prototype coffee cup that enable him to pour coffee at Zero G. The taste was the same. The texture was the same. The smell was the same – but who drinks coffee from straws? But why stop at coffee? Can we set a challenge that builds on this idea of home comforts and relates straight back to good scientific research?
We think that nothing says ‘home’ like home baking. Given that yeast is a frequent companion on space missions – we wondered whether baking yeast has been given its day in the sun so to speak. Are their ways of making less crumbly bread by making it in space? Can bread be baked in containers that contain the crumbs when baked? But baking takes a lot of power – can we devise new ways to bake using low power?
The bigger picture If we are to survive longer periods in space we will need to come up with new ways to not just grow food but to grow raw ingredients (such as wheat) that we turn into food. Bread has been a basic food for many cultures over many thousands of years. If we are to go into space are we to lose this cultural food source? Coupled with this are the challenges of creating low-power cooking devices that could and would have implications for the future of domestic life on earth.
Calling all Bakers. Food scientists. Chemists. Product Designers. Tinkerers. Bread lovers and anyone who is interested in designing radically simple low-power cooking equipment.
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