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Yes, the Pasta in Space project is very real, since’it is carried out by the famous company Barilla, which collaborates to the occasion with the Italian Air Force, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Axiom Space. The objective of this mission is to determine if it is possible to enjoy cooked pasta al dente in orbit. It is as part of the Ax-3 mission that 3 kilos of fusilli, carefully prepared for the occasion, will take off towards the ISS on January 17.
Why put rifles into orbit?
Even if that's not the main goal of the Ax-3 mission, the Crew Dragon will carry this small stock of pasta in addition to the five astronauts. For Paolo Barilla, the vice-president of the Italian company, expressed his enthusiasm for this project: “For more than 140 years, Barilla has been serving Italian gastronomy. It was therefore obvious for us to continue to take it into space to fulfill our mission: to make pasta accessible to as many people as possible by conveying the passion for Italian cuisine into space“.
This mission will at the same time support the inclusion of Italian cuisine in intangible cultural heritage of Unesco. But sending pasta into space is not just a matter of symbolism, as you can imagine.
Cooking in space is a real technical challenge and requires special adaptation from space ration manufacturers and astronauts. Most of the time, it is not a question of cooking, but of rehydrating food prepared in advance. Barilla explains that “fboiling pasta in microgravity is impossible. Barilla therefore had to adapt to these challenges.
Thus, the fusilli are cooked in advance, you just have to reheat them and eat them. The company has developed a special treatment to keep their pasta al dente and are preserved over the long term. All without adding additives or preservatives.
The project Pasta in Space n& ;#8217;s sole aim is not to highlight Italian cuisine. It should also be seen as a step forward in space research. Indeed, NASA is closely studying the impacts of weightlessness on food and on astronauts. It's give and take: a good publicity stunt for Barilla, and a potential collection of data on the tasting of these space pastas.
- Three kilos of pasta specially concocted by Barilla will be sent to the ISS as part of the Ax-3 mission.
- The first idea is to highlight the Italian heritage and know-how of Barilla.
- The interest of the maneuver also lies in the fact of studying the impact of weightlessness on a simple food and its preservation in space.
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