ESA perfects the art of space cooking to make fries available to Astronauts in space during long missions
By: Nitin Singh
The European Space Agency recently tested the feasibility of frying food in space with the goal of making fries a mainstay for astronauts on extended journeys.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has tested whether potatoes could be fried in space without the buoyancy of gravity.
The tendency of an object to float in a fluid is known as buoyancy. The buoyant force is an upward force that all liquids and gases in the presence of gravity apply to any object submerged in them.
During the experiment, researchers discovered that the hot oil was able to fry the potatoes because vapour bubbles continued to form on their surface.
A study was recently undertaken in microgravity conditions at an altitude of 2,000 feet to investigate if potatoes can be fried to edible levels.
We know that buoyancy ,the phenomenon that causes oil bubbles to escape the surface of a potato does not exist in outer space due to the lack of gravity.
Despite this fact, ESA teams still nanaged to produce a fried food in a simulated environment.
How did the researchers make this possible?
The fried space food is being made as part of a study to examine how cooking methods like frying are affected by microgravity.
ESA carried out two flight campaigns using a plane that flew in arcs to produce fleeting experiences of weightlessness for this study.
The process through which the aircraft ascends from a height of at least 20,000 feet is known as "parabolic flight." It ascends to a specific altitude and then plummets back to the starting point, providing 22 seconds of weightlessness.