‘Bake in Space’ Experiment Aims to Make Crumb-Free Bread on ISS

Led by founder Sebastian Marcu, the team is determined to develop a crumb-less bread that astronauts cannot only eat in space, but bake there, too.

“Baking where nobody baked before”, the team behind the Bake In Space experiment quipped. Bake In Space hopes their unique recipe and oven will create crumb-free goodness that everyone can enjoy without the fear of imminent death.

Bake in Space, based in Bremen, Germany, is scheduled to launch to the space station during “Horizons”, Alexander Gerst’s second science mission on the complex as an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut.

Bake in Space’s experiment will be trying to produce a “typical” weekend German bread roll.

In a rare exception, members of the STS-51D crew on board space shuttle Discovery are seen eating bread in April 1985. All they wanted was a taste of homemade bread, but it all went wrong with breadcrumbs spreading all over the zero-gravity space station! The crumbs flew everywhere in the microgravity and could have got into their eyes or into the electrical panels, where they could have started a fire. They can also pose a health risk if inhaled. Since then, it is forbidden to bring bread on the ISS.

NASA’s early solution – after Mercury and Gemini crews smuggled deli sandwiches to space – was to pre-cut their bread into bite-size cubes and coat each in gelatin to keep any crumbs contained.

“The first thing we need for a sandwich is a piece of bread”.

Astronauts use tortilla wraps instead of bread in space.

A proper square meal is hard to come by and relish for astronauts who spend months of their time in space, aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Having freshly baked bread available in space could have a positive impact on people’s moods. Even if they will be able to make it crumb-free, the researchers also have to ensure that it will have a pleasing taste.

“This is the biggest challenge”, Florian Stukenborg with the research firm TTZ Bremerhaven told New Scientist.

“The smell of fresh bread evokes memories of general happiness and is an important psychological factor.”

“It is a symbol of recreational time and procedure down on Earth”. Designed and inspected from all scientific angles, the space bread will not only be filling and fresh, but also safe for the special environment.