As we are eagerly anticipating the launches of ESA astronauts Matthias Maurer (Germany) and Tim Peake (UK) estimated for 2020/21 we are working towards supporting their upcoming missions to be in line for future experiments on the International Space Station (ISS). It’s therefore logical we have now set up a UK branch for Bake In Space to engage with the activities leading up to Tim Peake’s second mission.
Our office in the UK is located in Leicester’s new hub for high tech and innovative business – DOCK. Here we have access to first-class office space and business support services together with an entrepreneurial community close to the National Space Centre. DOCK was one of five regional incubators to receive funding from the UK Space Agency, designed to enable the provision of a supportive business environment to start-ups like Bake In Space.
Over the past year we’ve come a long way in Germany and are at an advanced stage of hardware development. We will continue to work with our German partners to further test our oven concept. We will also develop additional hardware items and food preparation processes to be suited for microgravity.
In the UK our focus will be more on sustainable food production, food manufacturing and safe food processing. The region has identified food & drink manufacturing as one of their priority areas. It is home to several major players, as well as quality food products from smaller producers. The area is known also for its strong agricultural base. Nearby is the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), the food science campus of the University of Lincoln, which explores multidisciplinary research for the food industry.
Being located around the corner from the National Space Centre also allows us to engage in education and outreach activities leading up to Tim Peake’s second mission. We see great potential for spin-off events from Bake In Space in schools in support of the National Space Academy.
In addition, there are plans for a Space Park in Leicester, adjacent to the National Space Centre, in an ambitious initiative to develop a global hub and collaborative community based on space and space-enabled technologies. The Park’s first building is expected to be ready in 2019.
Bake In Space is excited to join Leicester in this drive towards commercial space activities. We hope to combine the region’s strengths in food manufacturing and space research to put the city on the map as the ‘space food capital’.