‘Space yogurt’ experiment takes off — Analysis

Vials of ‘good’ bacteria cultured by Australian high-school students have been launched into space as part of an experiment to create nutrient-rich yogurt and study the effects of microgravity on the dairy-based microbes.

A total of 36 samples – containing frozen milk and various strains of yogurt-producing bacteria – were sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on a SpaceX rocket on Tuesday. Future space explorers could use the frozen cultures to make their own food. The astronauts aboard the ISS will do this.

It will include specimens culled by 40 Victoria University students, who were part of a Swinburne University space innovation contest. The program’s coordinator, Sara Webb, told The Guardian that previous experiments aboard the ISS had shown how bacteria’s behavior was altered by the lower gravity.

Webb added that there are examples of these changes, including fewer mutations within bacterial DNA, and faster replication. “actual strains of bacteria [might]Do you want to do better? [in space] than on Earth.”She stated that the hopes were for space-produced Yogurt to be just as nutritious and delicious as milk products from our planet.

We’re hoping to be able to say: Yes, not only is yogurt viable in space – so technically you could send Joe Blow to Mars with some frozen bacteria and a pint of milk and he could make his own yogurt – but it would be healthy.

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One team of students has sent 20 vials to study whether different types of milk – like full-cream dairy or soy-based varieties, for instance – factor into the kind of yogurt produced. There are 16 more samples that contain different combinations of milk, and one or several bacterial strains.

It will also account for how long milk has been fermented. This can vary from one to three working days. Since yogurt culture is at least 37 degrees Celsius, it will also affect the temperature of the ISS.

When the samples return in about six weeks’ time, the students will analyze the viscosity, nutrient profile, and lactic acid content of the resulting yogurts against a control batch brewed on Earth.

Although the experiment was successful, “exhilarating,”One of the students participating in The Guardian’s program, Aysel Sapukotana said that they would “[cause] a bit of an issue”If the astronauts “were to eat this and they didn’t have enough proteins and nutrients.”



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