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Space Miso: ISS Mission 2020

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Joshua Evans

Joshua Evans

New flavors may evolve as earth foods migrate to outer space. A collaboration between Maggie Coblentz at the MIT Media Lab and Joshua Evans at the University of Oxford aims to map the emergence of this new space "terroir." This research seeks to understand how the space environment may uniquely alter the flavors of familiar foods, in particular through fermentation processes. As an initial experiment we're sending a sample of miso to the International Space Station (ISS) for 30 days on the upcoming SpaceX-20 launch, and tracking how its microbiome and flavor chemistry may change compared to earthbound control samples.

Stay tuned for results and updates from the ISS! 

Learn more about our ongoing Fermentation in Space research here

Testing + Development

Parabolic Flight, 2019

A miso sample was flown and taste tested on the Space Exploration Initiative's August 2019 zero gravity flight, by Maggie Coblentz. Astronauts report a decreased sense of taste in space, in part due to fluid shifts in the body, and umami (i.e., savory taste) found in miso could be harnessed to help intensify flavor perception in zero gravity. 

 ISS 30 day mission (interior), 2020

On an upcoming SpaceX launch (CRS-20),  we are sending a sample of miso to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 30 day mission, and tracking how its microbiome and flavor chemistry may change compared to earthbound control samples.

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Maggie Coblentz

Copyright

Joshua Evans

Project Leads

Maggie Coblentz, Space Exploration Initiative, MIT Media Lab 

Joshua Evans, University of Oxford

Peter Dilworth, Mechanical Engineer, Space Exploration Initiative, MIT Media Lab 

Patrick Chwalek, Embedded Systems Engineer, Responsive Environments, MIT Media Lab 

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