Fresh Food in Space

Dan Technology, This Land of Ours, Wheat

freshCathy Isom tells us how the astronauts will soon be doing more than just growing their food in space. The next fresh food astronauts may soon be able to enjoy from afar. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

For astronauts aboard the International Space Station, meal choices have been pretty basic and bland, like freeze-dried veggies and meat in a tube.

More recently, however, things are looking up for more of a variety as these scientists have been able to grow their own veggies away from Earth, such as lettuce and cabbage. Soon they may be able to add those fresh veggies and the tubed meat to an actual sandwich.


This proof of concept shows the front plate of an oven that can bake bread in microgravity.
Credit: Christian Lüthen for Bake in Space

Bread has never been welcome aboard because of the safety hazards of tiny crumbs in weightless conditions. The worry is that the tiny bits could slip behind the control panels and wreak havoc on the sensitive equipment. Or, end up in an astronaut’s eyes or lungs.

The German company Bake in Space is behind a project to develop a special dough for low-crumb bread and an oven in which to bake it on the International Space Station. The companies CEO says so far the biggest challenges are creating a tasty bread without crumbs, and, baking in a low-gravity environment.

Another challenge is creating an oven that complies with the space station’s safety rules and fits within the station’s infrastructure.

The bread-making project, which involves a team of engineers and space scientists, is scheduled to be tested on the International Space Station next summer.

I’m Cathy Isom…