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OUT OF THIS WORLD | What's Up In Space - a weekly look at the biggest news coming down to Earth from space

KFC to launch 'space sandwich' to the stratosphere next week

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Friday, June 16, 2017, 1:00 - A KFC chicken sandwich will soon witness the curvature of the Earth and a new project hopes to fill the International Space Station with the aroma of baking bread. It's What's Up In Space (Food)!

KFC sending a Zinger to the Stratosphere

Kentucky Fried Chicken is teaming up with a company that wants to offer high-tech balloon flights to the stratosphere, to send one of their Zinger chicken sandwiches so high above the surface of the Earth that it will witness the curvature of the Earth.

This is an obvious publicity stunt, meant to sell more Zinger chicken sandwiches. You have to admit, though, when you're looking for great publicity, you can't do much better than to send your product to space, or at the very least, a significant distance towards.

So, on Wednesday, June 21, World View, the company that plans to deliver science payloads and passenger flights to the stratosphere in the years to come, is scheduled to send KFC's 'space sandwich' to roughly 15 miles above the surface of the Earth.

While that's 47 miles shy of actually reaching space (the boundary between Earth and Space is considered to be around 62 miles up, at the Kármán line), it'll still provide an impressive preview to anyone who wants to fly with World View in the future.

Stay tuned for when the Zinger actually makes its journey to the stratosphere!

Bake in Space

The aroma of baking bread. Chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven.

These are NOT things that you would be able to experience while on the International Space Station, for two simple reasons. 1) baking would be impossible, because convection ovens require gravity to work properly, and 2) traditional bread and cookies produce crumbs, which would be dangerous in the microgravity environment the space station crew lives in every day. The closest thing to bread that you get on the space station is using tortillas to make your favourite sandwich.

A German company is looking to change all of that, however.

Bake in Space wants to send a new experiment into orbit along with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst in 2018, to see if they can produce a crumbless bread that can actually be baked right there on the space station.

German bread roll. Credit: Wikipedia

According to the company:

In order to improve astronauts’ well being on long-duration missions such as on a Moon base or on Mars, food plays an essential key role. Besides a source for nutrition, 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.
The goal of our experiment is to produce freshly made bread aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in micro-gravity. The specimen will be the typical weekend German bread roll. 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.

Alexander Gerst is expected to make his next flight to the ISS in May of 2018, and Bake in Space should follow him a month later.

Sources: KFC | World ViewBake in Space

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