Oven provides chance for space baking — Sure to rise

Sure to rise: Oven provides chance for space baking

As a part of their next experiment, astronauts will be baking cookies in a specially-developed zero-gravity oven, called the Zero-G kitchen which examines heat transfer properties and the process of baking food in microgravity.

To celebrate the 19th anniversary of the arrival of the first crew to live aboard the International Space Station, NASA has sent a Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft to the outer space outpost to aid in research for long-term space missions, the agency reported in a press release on Saturday.

A cargo craft containing the specially-designed "space oven" and baking ingredients took off from the U.S. state of Virginia on Saturday.

On its website, Nasa said the oven may provide the opportunity for an increased variety in flavour and nutrition of food for crew members.

The Zero-G Oven works much like the electric toaster in many people's homes.

The Cygnus capsule has onboard a variety of other "toys" for the members of the International Space Station to play with, including vehicle parts, and an anti-radiation vest. They will be chocolate chip space cookies!

The Cygnus also brought equipment needed for four and possibly five upcoming spacewalks to fix a $2 billion cosmic ray detector that is searching for clues about the nature of unseen dark matter, antimatter and the mysterious dark energy speeding up the expansion of the universe.

The shipment, weighing about 3700kg, is expected to reach the ISS on Tuesday (NZ time).

Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston then took over arm operations and remotely pulled the Cygnus in for berthing at the Earth-facing port of the station's central Unity module, locking it in place with 16 motorized bolts.

When Cygnus, dubbed the S.S. Alan Bean, arrives at the space station on Monday, November 4, Expedition 61 astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of NASA will use the space station's robotic arm to capture Cygnus, and NASA's Andrew Morgan will monitor telemetry.

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