LOS ANGELES, CA – Blue Origin's space flight will test for the first time the internationally known Kalamata olives, olive oil, figs and raisins in their natural forms in a unique cooperation with private high school academy Bougas and the TEI Peloponnisou.
The origin and implementation of this cooperation is credited to two brothers, Professors Takis and Periklis Papadopoulos.
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who has been fascinated with space exploration since he was a high school student and dreamt of building space hotels and amusement parks, created Blue Origin. The company is a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight company that is developing technologies that will lower the cost of space travel.
Blue Origin successfully developed the rocket-powered Vertical Takeoff and Vertical Landing technology for its New Shepard space vehicle that Dr. Periklis Papadopoulos said “is a significant breakthrough technology that will dramatically lower the cost of space flying as the booster and the capsule can be used a few times without the need of refurbishing them after every use.” The purpose of the experiment will be to test the effects on the products once they travel into orbit. High school students from Bougas academy will participate in the experiment, a suggestion that was made by Dr.Takis Papadopoulos to the chief engineer of Blue Origin during a Nanoracks ISS Workshop in Holland.
“The school had won a third place in the national robotics competition and I thought they would be a great fit to the experiment.” Dr.Takis Papadopoulos told TNH that there two components to the experiment “first, to observe the behavior of olive oil and specifically to examine if olive oil will maintain its liquid shape once it has left the earth. We know that water does not maintain its liquid form in space and it will be interested to see how olive oil behaves. And second, the behavior of yeast bacteria growth in space, bread making ability in space.”
TEI Peloponissou Department of Agricultural Product Technology will decide the products that will be send to space while Blue Origin will decide the exact amounts. Although the products will only be in space for about seven or eight minutes, that will be enough time to get a first reading of how they will react. The advance properties of these foods will be further developed for space usage by developing “food supplements that for the first time will have taste. Up to now, food supplements used in space are tasteless.”
The participation of the Bougas academy is the first time that high school students in Europe will participate in a real space experiment. “The students selected are ages fifteen to eighteen years old and their selection was based on their grades and their academic inclination in computer science and robotics. Also their interest on the space experiment.
We hope the outcome will motivate children to improve their grades in S.T.E.M lessons, science technology, engineering and mathematics” said George Koutsoumpos, Bougas Team Manager. If the experiment goes well Takis Papadopoulos believes that “the Messinian products that are the base of the Mediterranean diet will be the food for the astronauts as well of the passengers of commercial space flights for many years to come.”
This development in conjunction with the initiative to build a spaceport in Kalamata is about to bring the Messinian capital in the space era. This was initiated again by Professor of Aerospace Engineering for San Jose State University Periklis Papadopoulos, who believes that “Kalamata is ideal for creating a European Spaceport because of its geographical position. It is a project what could yield $1 trillion dollars.” The experiment will take place in place probably in July of 2017 and it is highly anticipated by all involved.