5 comments

  • A. Feit

    I wonder if someone will put this to test in a nanoracks configuration. Just think, water, CO2, and flour in and dinner rolls out, more or less continuously.

  • Patrick

    This sounds like a NASA answer to a question with a far simpler answer.

    Just use yeast. And wait the hour.

    It took NASA 3 years and a million dollars to design a way to write in space. The space pen. The soviets sent up a few pencils.

  • Patrick,

    Though you know I am not a fan of NASA’s bureaucracy and overspending, the “space pen story” is actually not true. It never happened. It is one of those urban legends that people repeat because it sounds true, which tells us a great deal about how NASA does things in real life. They may not spend millions to design a space pen, but they certainly do not make it easy for scientists and engineers to innovate and be creative.

    As for using yeast in space to make bread, I wonder if doing so might pose some real engineering problems. For example, plants do not grow easily or naturally in space. It takes a great deal of complex engineering and care for them to prosper. I suspect the same might apply to yeast, though I admit I am unaware of any actual experiments to test it. However, finding a simple chemical substitute that also uses less energy seems to me to be a smart engineering solution. And this article proposes just such a thing. We shouldn’t dismiss it lightly.

  • Patrick

    That system only uses less energy if you discount making the co2 water and then finding a way to mix it all inside a pressure vessel before you release the pressure to make the bubbles.

    Also the assumption that we would be on a micro small spaceship with a galley the size of a closet in my opinion is way wrong. If we are going to out there long enough to bake bread then I bet we would have a few more square feet to use.
    Even the station we have now is bigger than that.
    As for keeping yeast a long time, drying it is not easy for the home chemist but quite possible in a small lab. Just keep samples of it dry until needed.

    Plus you can’t make wine with just CO2. What are they going to drink a year out from the earth?

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